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Many curious users of maps have wondered 
why Portugal, sharing with Spain the semi- 
isolated and apparently unitary Iberian Pen- 
insula, ever became a separate and independ- 
ent nation. That question is answered by Dr. 
Dan Stanislawski in THE INDIVIDUALITY 

The book is more than an answer to this 
specific question. It is also a study in the evo- 
lution of national cultures generally, especially 
as they have operated in Portugal and, to a 
lesser extent, in Spain to produce separate 
TUGAL thus provides a penetrating discussion 
of principles that modern statesmen might well 
consider in fixing the boundaries of nations. 

Dr. Stanislawski's purpose is to resolve the 
dispute between the two schools of historians 
who disagree conceding the suarce of Por- 
tugal's national i idependence -those who 
claim that PrrU^Ui became ? situate country 
because of its geography and related factors, 
and those who maintah that its distinctive 
character resulted irom the incidents of his- 
tory iinl tie decisions of its political leaders. 

AniGLg die factors that created a separate 
and independent Portugal, Dr. Stanislawski 
states, are these; 

(1) The ancient cultural differences be- 
tween people cf die humid periphery of Iberia 
and those of its i : t 3iic r meseta. 

(2) Spdn's preoccupation with her own 

(3) Portugal's advantageous position on the 
Atlantic, which provided excellent ports, the 

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1. Iberia: Place Names 

The Individuality of 


A Study in Historical-Political Geography 


University of Texas Press, Austin 




Parkside Works Edinburgh 9 

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1959 by the University of Texas Press 

Published with the Assistance of a Grant 

from the Ford Foundation 

under its Program for the Support of Publications 

in the Humanities and Social Sciences 

Manufactured in the United States of America 

For Doris 


I AM GRATEFUL to the John Simon Guggenheim 
Memorial Foundation and to the Social Science 
Research Council for the material aid given to me 
for the field work that preceded the writing of this 

Many individuals have been generous in reading 
parts or all of the manuscript; Carl 0. Sauer, John 
B. Leighly, and Raymond I. Storie of the Univer- 
sity of California at Berkeley; Jan 0, M. Broek of 
the University of Minnesota; Billie Lee Turner of 
the University of Texas; and Julio Caro Baroja of 
the Museo del Pueblo Espanol, Madrid, Spain. 
None of them, however, should be penalized for 
their generosity by blame for any errors in my 
conclusions, or other deficiencies. 

Very special gratitude goes to my wife for the 
great help that she has given me through all stages 
of inquiry and the preparation of the book. 

I am indebted to the Institute do Vinho do Porto 
for the photograph of the Douro River canyon that 
is used. 

To the dozens of other Portuguese and Spaniards 
who so generously helped me I offer my thanks, 
The list is too long to print. 



Acknowledgments ....... vii 

Introduction ........ 3 

1. Landforms of Northwest and West Iberia . . 11 

2. The Climate of Western Iberia .... 32 

3. The Soils of Northern and Western Iberia . . 43 

4. Vegetation Regions of Northern and Western Iberia 52 

5. Prehistoric Immigrants into Iberia .... 60 

6. Early Central European Influences in Iberia . . 70 

7. Contacts between the Ancient Civilizations of the 

Eastern Mediterranean and Iberia ... 86 

8. The Period of Roman Conquest and Control . . 108 

9. The Germanic Conquest 121 

10. Moslem Domination 137 

11. The Reconquest of Iberia 144 

12. Final Steps toward Portuguese Independence . 164 

13. Completion of the Portuguese State . . . 171 

14. Development of Portuguese International Relations 183 

15. The Geography of Portuguese-Spanish Boundaries 190 

16. Environment and Culture ..... 204 

17. The Geographical Basis of Portuguese Political 

Independence: A Summation .... 212 

Bibliography 219 

Index 229 


Lima River in Portugal, Not Far from the Spanish Border 13 

Tua River in Tras-os-Montes 15 

The Duero River at Zamora ...... 16 

The Duero (Douro) River Where It Is the Boundary 

between Portugal and Spain ..... 17 

Braganga and the High Plains of Tras-os-Montes . 18 

The Upper Alentejo: Plowmen with Quercus Hex in 

Background ........ 25 

The Upper Alentejo: Olive Grove .... 25 

The Upper Alentejo from Estremoz .... 27 

TheCaldeirao 27 

Monchique: Schist Crests below Terraces on the Syenite 28 

A Verraco in Ciudad Rodrigo 74 

Salt-evaporating Basins in the Algarve ... 88 


Alvor, Where People Have Fished since Phoenician Times 100 

Figs in the Algarve 105 

The Spanish Meseta between Valladolid and Salamanca: 

A Threshing Ground 126 

A Farm in the Minho 128 

Mondego River Valley, East of Coimbra in Central 

Portugal 130 

One of the Valleys of the Center of the Minho . . 132 

The Lower Alentejo near Beja 134 

The Old Fortress City of Elvas in the Alentejo . . 176 

Along the Spanish-Portuguese Border, in Northeast 

Minho 193 

Tras-os-Montes: A Tin Mine ..... 195 

Tras-os-Montes: Threshing Rye 196 

An Estate of the Lower Alentejo . . . .198 

Mertola on the Guadiana River ..... 201 

Tajo River in Caceres Province, Spain .... 205 


1. Iberia: Place Names .... Frontispiece 

2. "Rain-Shadow" Mountains of Northwest Iberia . 8 

3. Iberia: Mountain Regions . . . facing 11 

4. Northern Portugal and Adjacent Regions of Spain 20 

5. Actual January Isotherms of the Iberian Peninsula 33 

6. Yearly Precipitation in the Iberian Peninsula facing 34 

7. Climatic Stations of Portugal .... 37 

8. Soil Regions of Western Europe .... 44 

9. Vegetation Zones of Europe .... 54 
10. Iberian Culture Areas as Delimited by Strabo . 109 
11 a. Area of Primitive Granaries . . . . .110 
lib. Area of the Chillon Cart 110 

12. Tribal Divisions in Northwestern Iberia during the 

Roman Period 112 


13. Population Density in the Iberian Peninsula . 191 

14. Arabic and Arabized Topographic Names . . 207 

15. Germanic Place Names 209 

The Individuality of 



N THE PRESENT state of world affairs, it is not un- 
common for cynical representatives of great powers to 
sketch boundaries of new small states on flat maps, 
ignoring the peoples involved, their wishes, or their 
habitual associations. Perhaps the average person, thinking of 
Western Europe, is apt to assume that in a world of quick and 
radical change most small states have been established in this 
way. It is often overlooked that there are durable states, with 
persistent boundaries that represent more than mere colored 
outlines in an atlas, whose frontiers mark the limits, not only 
of an area of land, but of a population that has long been asso- 
ciated with that territory. The habits and values of such people 
have been established in relation to the land upon which they 
have lived, to the climate affecting it, and to the soils and 
vegetation that respond to a complex of factors belonging to 
that specific territory. Economy, transport, and human associa- 
tions of all sorts become involved with the specific milieu and 
are to some extent limited by it. 
The populations of neighboring states, which have developed 


under variant physical and historical conditions,, have become 
associated with their land through an individual set of cultural 
practices which, though useful where they have evolved, may 
not be fitting elsewhere. In short, culture lias roots, not only 
in men's minds, but in the land upon which it develops. Once 
having taken shape, a culture complex thrives best in its own 
type of surroundings. When peoples migrate, taking with them 
their attitudes and values, they choose areas for settlement that 
broadly meet their habitual needs, areas that are physically 
reminiscent of that from winch they came. 

However, culture is not a static tiling. It is always changing. 
Although in a conservative area the trend and degree of change 
may be imperceptible to any one generation, it is rapid and 
obvious with migration. No matter how diligently a human 
group may seek lands which are precisely the same as those 
from which it came, success can be only partial. No piece of 
land is exactly the same as a second, any more than one man 
is the exact duplicate of another. Migrants make adjustments 
in their new environment, and in so doing create new values 
and attitudes. Thus the new territory is the birthplace of a new 
culture group, related to that of the older territory, yet with 
its own distinct characteristics. 

This book is concerned with Portugal, but Portugal is a small 
part of a semi-isolated peninsula which seems to be, and is, 
in many respects, a natural unit. Yet a Portuguese is not a 
Spaniard. No Portuguese would say otherwise, and probably 
few foreigners who know both nations would disagree. Span- 
iards, however, may take exception to such a statement, for 
the belief is traditional in Spain that the unitary quality of the 
peninsula is the important fact and that differences are negli- 
gible. Spaniards point to physical areas common to both Spain 
and to Portugal and to the mutually shared historical experi- 
ences under the Romans, the Visigoths, and the Moslems. In 
view of these facts, they say it is culturally contradictory, eco- 
nomically disadvantageous, and politically inexpedient that one 
small section be divorced from the rest of the peninsula. The 
Portuguese reply to the Spanish contention is apt to be some- 


thing like this "Of course we are part of the peninsula, and 
we obviously share common peninsular traits with Spaniards, 
but the peninsula is not homogeneous. Our part of it is unique, 
and our habits and attitudes are distinct. We make up an inde- 
pendent unit with good reason." 

As a part of the peninsula, Portugal has shared with Spain 
both physical areas and cultural experiences, the latter es- 
pecially in prehistory and in early historical times. These cul- 
tural experiences are profoundly important to both nations, and 
the evidence of their importance is still to be found on both 
sides of the political border. In an attempt to describe the 
unique personality of the Portuguese state it will be necessary 
to describe, as a part of that personality, the introduction and 
development of many of the cultural qualities that belong also 
to Spain. But Portugal is unique, and in stating this one has 
also said that Spain is iinique. Each one may be distinct either 
by its own unique experiences or by the lack of the experiences 
of the other. The problem of Portuguese individuality must be 
attacked not only through a study of Portugal, but also in seek- 
ing the fundamental bases of individuality and uniqueness in 
Spain as well. In limited fashion, but sufficiently to establish 
Iberian differences, it is hoped, the physical and historical con- 
ditions of Spain will be treated. For example, one chapter of 
this book is devoted largely to Greek trade along the coasts of 
the area of present Spain, and in it hardly a word is said about 
Portugal. This is necessary, for a unique Spain is part of the 
evolution of a disparate Portugal. That Portugal took almost 
no part in Greek trade is as important to its distinction as 
is the earlier "castro" or hilltop fort culture that was mostly 
Portuguese and Spanish only in minor degree. 

The question must be answered, however, as to how Portugal 
came to a sense of its own distinct character, and then, con- 
scious of its individuality, was able to establish its inde- 
pendence from the other four-fifths of the peninsula. Is Portu- 
gal clearly different from Spain physically? If so, what has been 
the effect of this difference upon the development of culture 
regions? Or are those Portuguese authors correct who claim 



that their country is a unit only because of the accidents 
of history, or the inspiration and determination of individual 

The problem would be far simpler if the Portuguese, in al- 
most complete unanimity as to their individuality, did not differ 
so widely as to its genesis. Divergent opinions are almost as 
numerous as the individuals expressing them. In the middle of 
the nineteenth century, the great Portuguese historian, Alexan- 
dra Herculano, maintained with vigor that credit should be 
given to Portuguese nobles and kings, whose personal decisions 
led to the political independence of Portugal. 1 His conclusion 
was commonly accepted throughout the latter nineteenth cen- 
tury, and indeed has strong support today. Professor Aristides 
de Amorim Girao, the eminent geographer at the University 
of Coimbra, says flatly that the strong arms of the early Portu- 
guese are to receive credit, and that the physical nature of the 
area has had little or nothing to do with the case. 2 

Other scholars in late years have supported quite another 
point of view. Many believe that there are important physical 
differences which, although not compulsive, have contributed 
substantially to the Portuguese individuality finally reflected in 
independence. Hermann Lautensach, the German geographer, 
who has worked long and productively in Portugal, conceives 
of Portugal as being distinct geomorphologically, in the com- 
plex of its vegetation, in climate, in population distribution, 
and in other factors essentially based upon a unique physical 
nature. He would make no claims for an environmental de- 
terminism, but points to what he believes to be an especial 
physical constitution in Portugal that was the foundation upon 
which a discrete culture area developed; 5 

1 Alexandra Herculano, Historia de Portugal (7th eel), I, 36-40. 

- A. cle Amorim Girao, Condicoes geogrdficus c Jiitftoricas del autonotnid 
politica de Portugal, pp. 19-20, 30; "Imposibilidade de sustentar pelu 
geografia a separa^ao politica entre Portugal e Espunhu," B/Wav, V 
(1929), 304-314; "Origines de Fetat Portuguis," Revue Geographic/lie 
dcs Pyrenees ct du Sud-Ouest, XI, Nos. 3-4 (1940), 155-158. 

' 5 Anyone concerned with the geography of Portugal, should, at the 
outset, express gratitude to Hermann Lautensach for his many excellent 


It is not a simple problem to compare and assess the opposing 
contentions and to try to reach a reasonable conclusion as to 
merits and deficiencies, Many things are involved more, obvi- 
ously, than can be properly handled by one author, and many 
more than can be satisfactorily treated in one book. So I shall 
make no attempt to fit within the accustomed categories "his- 
torical geography" or "political geography." Especially in the 
case of political geography I shall not attempt to consider many 
of the materials that are conventionally used, since they are 
not, in my opinion, pertinent to the subject of the book 
Portuguese individuality. 

The Portuguese state is the logical expression of a unique 
culture area which had evolved early in history and took clearly 
defined form before the sixteenth century. For this reason, 
economic and historical development prior to that time will 
be given the most attention. The materials used will be those 
which seem to have the greatest bearing upon the problem and 
which offer most aid to its understanding. 

This study will maintain the point of view that there was a 
culture area in the northwest of the peninsula distinct from 
that of the interior, and that although a human decision was 
the immediate cause of Portuguese political independence, 
such a decision would have been fruitless had there not been 

publications. With reference to the ideas expressed in this introduction 
see the following: "Geopolitisches von der Spanisch-Portugiesischen 
Grenze," Zeitschrift fur Geopolitik, V (1928), 371-374 (in this article 
he forswears any complete dependence of the political unit upon "natural" 
factors; see especially p. 372); "Die Iberische Halbinsel als Schauplatz 
der geschichtlichen Bewegung," Zeitschrift der Gesellschaft fur Erdkunde 
zu Berlin, Nos. 3-4 (June, 1948), pp. 101-123, especially p. 120; "Lebens- 
raumfragen der Iberischen Volker," Lebensraumfragen Europdischer 
Volker, I, Europa, 493-536, especially p. 509; "Der politische Dualismus 
der Iberischen Halbinsel/' Zeitschrift fur Geopolitik, VI, No. 2 (1929), 
782-788. In many of his articles, Lautensach specifically disavows a 
crude environmentalism. However, it is impossible for a reader not to 
infer from his selection and treatment of materials his belief in the funda- 
mental importance of physical factors. This attitude is even more obvious 
in his "A Individualidade geografica de Portugal no conjunto da Penin- 
sula Iberica," Boletim da Sociedade de Geografia de Lisboa, XLIX 
(1931), 362-409. 





Figure 2. "Rain-Shadow" Mountains of Northwest Iberia 

persistent historical and cultural differences between the north- 
west periphery and the great interior tableland, the meseta. 
It was in the northwest, where physical differences between 
the meseta and the Atlantic border are the most obvious, that 
the culture hearth and the political state of Portugal were first 
established. (Fig. 2.) To understand the development of Portu- 
guese individuality this fact must always be kept in mind. The 
south is a later appendage, and the thesis that physical differ- 
ences are basic to present political differences cannot be main- 
tained for this region, as political factors may have had greater 
importance there. 

Although the association of physical areas with culture 
regions will be made, there will be no attempt to support the 
view that the physical area inspired or compelled culture 
growth. All of Iberia has been affected by numerous migratory 



groups. It will be the contention of this book that, insofar as 
we know, these migratory groups have selected areas suitable 
to their values, experience, and habits of use and wont. In 
short, selection has been made in terms of environmental suit- 
ability to technological equipment and habitual preferences. 

Central Europeans migrating into the Iberian peninsula have 
made their greatest mark upon the rainy northern and north- 
western regions of Iberia, areas similar to those from which 
they came. Mediterranean migrants from either Europe or 
Africa who moved into Iberia concentrated in the lands fring- 
ing the sea. This fact gives a large degree of physical unity 
and considerable cultural unity to its bordering shores. How- 
ever, in Iberia there is a great body of land lying between the 
green north and northwest and that southern fringing area 
which can be called Mediterranean. This great central table- 
land, the meseta, is a blend of Europe and Africa. The concept 
that "Africa ends at the Pyrenees" is not without merit, but to 
avoid distortion one might also add that Europe ends at the 
Sierra Morena, just to the north of the Guadalquivir River. The 
meseta is a world in itself. Its climate is unique in Europe. The 
blend of European with African cultures has created a culture 
both complex and unique. Perhaps it is the mixture of Central 
European and Mediterranean (both European and African 
Mediterranean) cultures in the meseta that has made it bleak, 
harsh, and sparsely populated as it is the center of control 
of Iberia through much of the time since the breakdown of 

Cultural differences between Mediterranean Iberia (the 
south and northeast) and Central European Iberia (the north 
and northwest) reach beyond historical or archaeological evi- 
dence. But insofar as we have knowledge, they seem to have 
always been equated in their distribution with the major physi- 
cal differences within the peninsula. As the association of physi- 
cal areas with culture groups will be stressed, it should be well 
to outline, at the outset, those traits of the physical landscape 
that have bearing upon the subject, such as topography, cli- 



mate, soils, and vegetation. In dealing with them it should be 
remembered that Portugal is the subject of primary interest 
especially northwest Portugal where the state took form and 
that other areas are considered only when they have bearing 
upon the major concern. Later chapters dealing with historical 
development will also treat the northwest as the center of 



R p, nw , 1 1000 METERS 


Figure 3. Iberia: Mountain Regions 


Landforms of Northwest 
and West Iberia 

____jjjg JJJQJJLAND rim extending continuously from 
JS I the eastern Pyrenees across northern Spain and south- 
< -L ward into northern Portugal has a distinct physical 
&WVW 1 character and, through its effect upon climate, creates 
a distinct character for the meseta. The surface form of the 
great central tableland is relatively simple and for the purposes 
of this study need not concern us. The landforms of the north- 
west, however, especially those in the north of present Portugal, 
must be considered in some detail, for this area is pertinent to 
our problem. 


The most important fact of North Portuguese landform is 
its seaward slope. This orientation is most obvious in the 
province of the Minho, where mountains to the east (the 
Peneda, Gerez, Cabreira, Alvao, Marao, and Montemuro) form 
an amphitheater facing the Atlantic Ocean (Fig. 3. See Fig. 1 
for additional place names). Such heights allow northwest 



Portugal to turn its back upon the meseta of Spain. Due not 
only to their elevation but also to their geologic and tectonic 
history, they represent an area of limited usefulness and sparse 
population. Here events of nearly three hundred million years 
ago cast their shadow upon present human affairs. The general 
area is one of Hercynian folding, which resulted not only in 
the metamorphosis of existing rocks but also in great intrusions 
of granite. 1 Late Tertiary re-elevation and subsequent erosion 
resulted in the complete exposure of the ancient crystallines 
and granites along a line making a gentle arc, convex toward 
the sea, from near La Coruna, running south-southeastward 
through the areas of Vila Real and Guarda in Portugal and into 
Spain near Alcantara. It is also a zone of shatter breaks marked 
by lines of thermal springs, especially in the granites. 

In this part of Iberia, geology has no relation to the political 
boundary. A granite massif extends from the west border of 
Asturias through Galicia and thence southward through the 
province of the Minlio. South of the Douro River it is buried 
along the coast by later (post-Paleozoic) sediments, but inland 
it continues as a surface feature almost to the city of Coimbra. 
This massif in Galicia forms an amorphous mass, but its projec- 
tions extending into Portugal take clear form as crests roughly 
parallel to each other, running in a south-southwest direction 
(Peneda, Gerez, Alturas, Alvao). The Minhotos call these col- 
lectively as Montanlias (the Mountains), one of the subdivi- 
sions that they make of their province. Paralleling these ridges, 
the rivers run in their deeply trenched valleys, the Lima, the 

1 In this chapter I have used material from the following works of 
Hermann Lautensach: 1. "A Indivklualiclacle geografiea do Portugal no 
conjunto da Peninsula Ibcrica," Boletim da Sociedade do Geogi'afia dc 
Lishoa, XLIX (1931); "Portugal: Auf Gnmd ei goner Kelson uncl tier 
Literatur." 1. "Das Land als Gauzes," PetGrmanna Miil&ilungan, No. 213 
(Gotha, 1932); 2. "Die portugiesischcn Landschaftcn," ibid., No. 230 
(Gotha, 1937). 

I have made use also of materials from Orlando Ribeiro, Portugal; 
from A. de Atnorim Girao, Geografia de Portugal; from Pierre Birot, Lc 
Portugal; and from Mariano Feio, A Evolugfio do rclevo do baixo Alcntejo 
e Algarve. 



Cavado, the Homem, and the Tamega. A typical phenomenon 
of the Minho Province is that of a broad, flat valley floor lying 
sharply against steep bordering slopes. The form and the paral- 
lelism of the valleys suggest tectonic derivation and the horsts 
of Marao and Padrela at the eastern edge seem to confirm 
it but the genesis is largely of another sort. The forms are 
simply the result of the typical erosional development of gran- 
ite in northwest Portugal. Here, either along fault lines or in 
rejuvenated valleys the process of river erosion widens the floor 
without reducing the angle of slopes, which recede parallel to 
their earlier position." 

Seaward from the granite crests is an area of low valleys, 
called o Centra (the Center), irregular in shape and si?;e and 
partially enclosed by granite spurs. It is a fertile area of dense 
settlement and the core of Portuguese nationality. The Coast 
is the third division which a Minhoto makes of his province. It 
is an emergent coast, with a narrow beach sloping gradually 
upward to the slight eminences just a few miles inland, against 
which the waves of the Pliocene sea washed. 


The Minho shares with its eastern neighboring province the 
mountains described above. These heights form the physical 
division topographic and climatic, with all that this implies 
in human terms between the green Minho Province and its 
eastern neighbor, the aptly named province of Trus-os-Montes." 
The latter, lying in the lee of the mountains, in the northeast 
of Portugal, is bordered on two sides by Spain and physically 
is an extension of the Spanish meseta. However, it has char- 
acteristics peculiarly its own. Unlike the Spanish pencplanc 
with its low relief and Tertiary cover, the high, partly dissected 

2 Orlando Ribeiro, Portugal pp. 19-23, 31. 

15 That is, "on the other side of the mountains/* The name properly 
implies the history of the province with regard to the earlier establish- 
ment of the Minho as a political center and the later adherence of Tras- 

Tua River in Trds-os-Montes 



The Duero River at Zaniora 

plateau on the Portuguese side of the border is constituted 
largely by Pre-Cambrian materials, and is deeply incised by its 
rivers, which have carved canyons up to sixteen hundred feet 
deep into the ancient crystalline rocks. In addition to tins dif- 
ference in the effect of the rivers, there is the feature of unre- 
duced remnants of former elevations, which project high above 
the peneplane surface on the Portuguese side of the border. 


The Spanish Duero flows lazily westward to beyond Zamora; 
and its tributaries, also leisurely streams, come into it from the 
east-southeast or from the northwest. At Paradela, where it 
becomes international (the Douro, in Portugal); 1 it suddenly 
bends to the southwest, cutting violently into the old plateau 
surface, dropping over sixteen hundred feet during the next 
seventy-six miles. To the west of the canyon, the right bank 

4 For the international streams both the Portuguese and the Spanish 

names will be given in the first reference. In subsequent references the 
spelling will be suited to the area under discussion. 



tributaries in Tras-os-Montes roughly parallel the international 
stream, and are separated from each other by northeast-south- 
west trending crests. This change in direction and degree of 
slope of mountains and rivers is a phenomenon of the zone of 
northeast Portugal that borders Leon. 

Because of the position of the highland areas, most of the 
streams of Portugal north of the Douro are purely Portuguese 
streams. There is an important Spanish section of the Minho 
River (Miiio, in Spain), which has its sources in the northern 
mountains of Galicia. The Lima (Limia, in Spain) River runs 
for approximately half of its course in southern Galicia and 
enters Portugal through the sharply cut canyon between the 
servos of Peneda and Amarela. The Tamega also has a portion 
of its course in Galicia, in the region of the town of Verin. This 
stretch, however, is but a few miles long and is separated from 
the rest of Galicia by relatively high country. Aside from these 
three streams, all others have their sources either within Portu- 
gal or on the south slope of the mountains along the frontier. 
The valleys of the streams are narrow and of limited, if any, 
usefulness near their headwaters, but they widen downstream. 

The fact that all of the Tras-os-Montes streams cut deep' 
canyons into the old plateau surface is not only of physio- 
graphic but also of economic and political significance, for 
these valley bottoms, where they are wide enough for use, with 
advantageous climatic conditions, are ribbons of fertility in an 
otherwise meagre territory. Their topographic gradient is also 
their economic and political gradient. Routes to the west are 
open, whereas all are blocked to the east and north, either by 
high mountains or by narrow canyons, where the turbulent 
streams make navigation impossible and where cultivable land 
is absent (e.g., the Douro between Paradela and Barca d'Alva, 
and the international Macas, in Spain, the Manzanas). The 
economic current, by reason of these facts, is westward, away 
JFrom the Spanish border and toward the Portuguese lowland. 




The rocks and landforms of the Minho extend southward 
beyond the Douro River to a point north of the city of Coimbra, 
where the granite Caramulo, whose northeast-southwest strike 
is that of its counterparts in the northern province, marks their 
termination. This brings the rocks and landforms of the Moun- 
tains of the Minho Province well into the drainage of the 
Mondego River of Middle Portugal However, not only the 
Mountains of the Minho extend south of the Douro River; the 
Center of the Minho also is extended recognizably as the low 
mountain-girt valleys of the Beiras; and a short stretch of coast 
to the south of the Douro River is a southern extension of the 
Coast of the Minho. 

Most of Middle Portugal is included in the Beira provinces, 
so named (Beira means border) because the lands south of the 
Douro River were frontiers during the period of reconquest 
and resettlement (ninth to twelfth centuries) which stemmed 
from the early Portuguese nucleus in the Minho. Likewise, they 
form the frontier of Tras-os-Montes, and here also one can 
recognize a southern companion-piece to the northern prov- 
ince. The heart of Upper Beira (that part of the Beiras lying 
to the northwest of the great dividing range, the Serra da 
Estrela) is an elevgted plain, partly dissected by the streams 
of the Mondego system. Although the carving of the streams 
has been vigorous, it has not destroyed the essential unity of 
interfluvial surfaces. Like Tras-os-Montes, this high plain is an 
extension of the meseta of Old Castile. Also, like its northern 
neiglibor, it differs from the Spanish area in the form of its 
stream valleys. 

The Agueda River, a left-bank tributary of the Duero, takes 
its northwesterly course through the high plateau of Old Cas- 
tile in leisui'ely fashion, comparable to that of the Spanish 
Duero. At the frontier it has cut an even steeper gradient than 
the Duero into the ancient rocks before the two streams meet 
above Barca d'Alva. ( In fifteen miles the Agueda drops nearly 



eight hundred feet for an average decline of approximately 
fifty-two feet per mile compared with twenty-one feet per mile 
for the international Duero.) The valley of the Coa River, 
another left-bank tributary of the Douro River, is called terra 
quente (hot country) by the Portuguese, a term used to de- 
scribe such low, protected valleys which are favored by cli- 
matic conditions so different from those of the high plateau 
directly above them. The term is applied equally to the valley 
of the Sabor River in Tras-os-Montes, due north of the Coa, and 
to several others in each province. Most streams of the Beira 
meet the Douro in an acute angle as do those from the north. 
The exceptions on either side of the master-stream seem to be 
those directed by tectonics. For example, the Coa and its north- 
ern companion-piece, the Vilariga, tributary of the Sabor, flow 
almost due north and south respectively along fault lines. The 
high plain of the Beiras extends westward until it ends at the 
Bussaco Mountains, north-northeast of the city of Coimbra. On 
the northwest it is bounded by the mountains of Caramulo, 
Montemuro, and their extensions. On the southeast its bound- 
ary is the great fault line along which the Serra da Estrela was 


The northeastern section of Upper Beira, sometimes termed 
Transmontane Beira, is like Tras-os-Montes not only in that it 
is distant from the ocean, but also in that the effect of oceanic 
influence is dinjunished because of the mojuntain masses west 
of it. The area includes the drainage of the Coa River. Farther 
south, this Portuguese extension of the Spanish mewta con- 
tinues through the so-called Guarda Gate, lying to the cast of 
the city of Guarda, a high, bleak plateau surface, averaging 
almost three thousand feet in elevation, between the Scrra da 
Estrela on the west and the Sierra de Gata and its Portuguese 
relative, the Serra das Mesas, on the east. The Guarda Gate, 
like its Spanish companions, the Gates of Bejar and Avila, con- 
nects, without major topographic obstacle, the ancient erosion 
surface of the north mesela with that of the south. 




About fifteen miles south of the latitude of the city of Guarda 
is the water parting between the affluents of the Douro River 
at the north and those of the Tejo River (Tap, in Spain; Tagus, 
commonly on American and English maps) at the south. This 
divide is approximately at the northern boundary of the prov- 
ince of Lower Beira, most of which lies between the levels of 
sixteen hundred feet and seven hundred feet elevation. From 
its highest elevations, Lower Beira slopes southward to the Tejo 
River. As Upper Beira (or its eastern section known as Trans- 
montane Beira) is a continuation of the plateau of Old Castile, 
Lower Beira is an extension into Portugal of Spanish New 
Castile; both provinces are transitional in character. Upper 
Beira reflects the traits of its nearest neighbors, the Minho and 
Tras-os-Montes, and Lower Beira shows strong affinities toward 
the Alentejo, into which it imperceptibly merges on the south. 
Castelo Branco of the Lower Beira is in many respects sug- 
gestive of an Alentejo city, and the countryside is similarly 


Between the Mondego and the Transmontane Beira exten- 
sions of the ancient plateau, the great horst of the Serra da 
Estrela has been thrust. This greatest Portuguese range has an 
average width of about thirty miles and a length of seventy-five 
miles. Here is found the highest point of the country (6,532 
feet). This range, like the Serra das Mesas and the Spanish 
sierras of Gata, Credos, and Guadarrama, was elevated along 
great fault lines in Middle Tertiary time. As the great so-called 
dividing ranges of Spain separate Old and New Castile, so does 
the Serra da Estrela make an effective barrier between the 
northern and southern parts of Portugal. Only along the littoral 
on the west, or by the Guarda Gate on the east, is contact 
between them conveniently made. 

The Serra da Estrela is made up of a series of mesas., one set 
back above another, which have now mostly weathered into 



high rounded eminences with but few sharp crests. The bound- 
ing fault along the northwest is clear, and, although there is 
still discussion as to the geologic and tectonic history of the 
other border areas, it is commonly accepted that the south- 
eastern boundary also may be delimited along a series of fault 
scarps. On the northeast the slopes grade into the plain of 
Transrnontane Beira and on the southwest the granites of 
the Estrela dip beneath the Triassic sandstones of Portuguese 


Of all of the territory lying between the Douro and Tejo 
rivers only one important part can be said to be uniquely Portu- 
guese and not a part of general Iberian landforms. This area 
lies to the west of a line drawn almost due north-south from 
Espinho through Coimbra to Tomar, and north of a line from 
Tomar to Lisbon. The area thus delimited includes virtually 
all of the modern provinces of Beira Littoral and Estremadura 
and has no companion-piece in Spain or north of the Douro in 

Its first and most obvious difference from the lands about 
which we have been speaking thus far is that of geologic age. 
It is a region in which the granites and schists, dominant in the 
north and in most of the center of Portugal, are totally lacking. 
Against these ancient rocks of the interior lies an almost con- 
tinuous narrow band of Triassic sandstones reaching from 
Tomar, just north of the Tejo River to north of Coimbra and, 
discontinuously, as far north as the Vouga River. Westward 
and southwestward from these Triassic sandstones lies a broad 
band of limestones of Jurassic age, broken by considerable 
areas of Cretaceous sandstones and conglomerates. Still farther 
west, especially in the triangle bounded by a line drawn from 
Espinho to Coimbra and from there to Nazarc, arc Tertiary 
layers, dipping on the seaward side under Quaternary deposits. 
Within these major, generalized rock areas are small enclaves 
of disparate character. For example, within the general zone 

The Upper Alentejo: Pbwmen with Quercus Ilex in Background 

The Upper Akntejo: Olive Grove 



of Jurassic and Cretaceous rocks are many areas of eruptives, 
the most important of which is that of basalts just to the west 
and northwest of Lisbon. Within the Tertiary zone are several 
minor areas where Mesozoic rocks are exposed. The small 
Berlenga Islands, lying offshore to the west of Cape Carvoeiro, 
represent an isolated fragment of the ancient mass separated 
from the latter by the Mesozoic area. 

The differences in resistance to weathering of the limestones, 
sandstones, and volcanic rocks has produced a region with great 
variety of form. Occasionally one sees sandy hills or hills of 
basalt, and calcareous eminences that do not reach more than 
2,500 feet in elevation. These eminences are striking because of 
their abrupt, sometimes karstic, arid, desolate slopes. On the 
seaward border from the Douro River to the Mondego the coast 
is low and slopes gradually inland. Against the ocean is one of 
the greatest areas of dune sand of western Europe. Broken only 
by Cape Mondego (near Figueira da Foz), sands have been 
deposited as far south as Nazare, stretching along for over a 
hundred miles and averaging two to five miles in width. 


If one wanted to describe the Beiras in a single word he 
would use "variety," but for the neighboring region to the south 
only the word "monotony" would serve. There could hardly be 
greater contrast than that between the Beiras in general and 
the Alentejo, even though Lower Beira at the east makes an 
imperceptible transition into the Upper Alentejo. The two areas 
meet where ancient rocks have been modeled by erosion into 
rolling countryside, with an average elevation of seven hundred 
to sixteen hundred feet above seajtasjgl and sloping gcticrally 
toward the west and the south. On the west, Lower Beira 
makes an abrupt transition into the lands to the south, along 
a series of faults presently reflected in the topography of the 
area. The adjacent southern area is the Ribatejo (a subdivision 
of Lower Alentejo), which is part of a great sedimentary basin 
making up the lower section of both the Tejo and Sado river 

te^ ^ , 

r ,**>'' '** ' " "^^*"'^^^^*^*-^*^t.i \ ^,. . 

L^^- fK 


The Upper Alentejo from Esiremoz 



drainages, from which the sea withdrew in mid-Tertiary times. 
The Tertiary lands extend to the northwest of the river from 
ten to fifteen miles on the average, but to a far greater extent 
southward. There, its complex succession of continental sands, 
clays, and limestones are transgressive over the ancient rock as 
far as seventy-five miles south of the river, where the Tertiary 
materials meet the Carboniferous, sedimentary schists of the 
Lower Alentejo proper without a break in relief. The great 
level or gently undulating plain of the Lower Alentejo, largely 
under seven hundred feet in elevation, is a classic peneplain, 
with but a few widely separated crests of modest height break- 
ing the monotony. 


Toward its southern limit, the great plain of the Lower 
Alentejo slopes upward to form mountain ranges, the Caldeirao 
Mountains on the east and the schist matrix of the Monchique 
Mountains on the west. The upfold of the schists resulted in 
faults normal to the fold, that is, somewhat parallel to the south 
coast of Portugal. The southern slopes of the mountains are 
rugged areas of the unconformable meeting of schists with the 
Mesozoic strata of the Algarve. The highest peak of the Cal- 
deirao (Mu) is only 1,893 feet above sea level, but Monchique 
is a unique phenomenon, for there a laccolith of syenite has 
been exposed by erosion of the schists that formerly covered 
it. Being more resistant to erosion than its matrix, the syenite 
now towers nearly thirteen hundred feet above the highest 
crests of the schist (syenite Foia, 2,959 feet) around it. 

These southern Portuguese mountains represent a purely 
Portuguese phenomenon, as they have no counterpart beyond 
the Portuguese boundary. Separating the two mountain areas 
is the Depression of S. Marcos, which represents a southern 
extension of the plain of Lower Alentejo. To the west of the 
Depression is a northwest-southeast trending fault, marking the 
eastern edge of the Monchique Mass. From the eastern side of 
the Depression the rise is gradual to the crests of the Caldeirao. 



Another extension of the Alentejo surface is that to the west of 
the mountains of Monchique, where the plain surface, veneered 
by sands, can be identified along the Atlantic coast almost to 
the southern extremity of Portugal, A third extension lies to the 
east of the Caldeirao, where the Guadiana River has carved 
its course through a southern projection of the plain which 
reaches virtually to the southern sea coast. 


The most southern political province of Portugal is named 
the Algarve. It includes the mountains of Caldeirao and Mon- 
chique, but this is a political device and not the expression of 
either the people inhabiting the mountains nor those of the 
lowlands beyond. A mountain man speaks of the Algarve, 
meaning the limestone and littoral area of the extreme south, 
and the Algarvian proper speaks of the mountaineers who in- 
habit the schist uplands. 

Several faults mark the approximate line of division between 
the schists of the mountains and the Mesozoic measures of the 
Algarve proper. Some of these faults have a northwest-south- 
east direction and some run almost due west-east. Along the 
edge of the schists, almost all of the way across the country, 
is seen an exposure of a steeply dipping deposit of red con- 
tinental sandstones, conglomerates, and marls of the Triassic. 
To the south of the Triassic band are thick, hard beds of Dolo- 
mite and compact limestones of the Lower Jurassic, forming 
high crests separated by lowlands scoured out of softer marls. 
Southward are successively younger and generally softer beds, 
where the relief becomes one of crests (generally in east-west 
direction) diminishing in height, and rough slopes separatee! 
by increasingly broad valleys, excavated by streams where the 
limestones are softer. South of the Mesozoic area is the littoral 
of Late Tertiary deposits, including marine limestones of the 
Miocene, and sands, gravels, and clays of Pliocene to recent 
time. The littoral slopes from the sea edge to elevations of as 
much as four hundred feet. 



It is easily apparent that Portugal, small though it is, is a 
place of physical diversity. Only the Beira provinces of the 
center show a considerable number of common characteristics, 
This has long been recognized by their being grouped together 
as "the Beiras." No one knowing the Minho, Tras-os-Montes, 
the Alentejo, and the Algarve, however, could think of them 
except as places with distinct physical character, each unlike 
the others. 


The Climate of Western Iberia 


ANDFORMS of the northwest of Iberia are impor- 
tant geographical phenomena in themselves, but 
more important than slope and elevation per se is 
the relation of these to the Atlantic Ocean and to 
the climatic regions that result from it. These mountains are a 
barrier to the storms from the northwest and west, and oceanic 
influence strongly felt on the seaward slopes is absent in the 
interior of the peninsula (Fig. 2). There is a great contrast 
between the aspect of the north and west slopes and that of 
the meseta lying in the rain-shadow of the crests. In describing 
the transition from the meseta to the northern highlands and 
shores one Spanish geographer said, "In crossing the mountains 
of Leon, the beech and chestnut forests, the galleries of trees 
along the rivers, the meadows, the arborescent ferns announce 
one's departure from yellow, dusty Spain of the Castilian steppe 
and the entry into northern, rainy, green Spain." l 

1 L. Sole Sabaris and Llopis Llado, Espana, Geografia fisica, p, 270. 

u. U.U.U.U.L. 

o o o o o 


10 cri cvi CD O ro 









The phrase "yellow, dusty Spain" recalls the scorching sun 
of summer as well as the aridity which is equally characteristic 
of the area. The meseta, denied the lenitive effects of the sea 
by the barrier of mountains, is continental in its climate. That 
is to say, there is a high annual temperature range between 
the means of its hottest and coldest months (an average of 
33 F for stations of the north meseta) and, more than this, the 
diurnal range is also great. The temperature may drop to nearly 
zero during some winter nights the mean of the minima for 
the coldest month of the northern meseta is 12 F but the days 
are mostly bright even in winter, for cloudiness is slight and 
days with precipitation are few, averaging only eighty-five. 
Even though snow is not uncommon, falling on an average of 
fifteen days per year, it does not lie on the ground long, nor 
does much fall. The total precipitation for the months of 
December, January, and February is less than 4 inches (of 
water), on the average, at the typical stations of Valladolicl and 

In summer, the sun blazes down with hardly a cloud to ob- 
struct its heating of the land. Days may be over 100F (the 
mean of the maxima for the hottest month is 99F), but nights 
cool rapidly. The persistently clear skies, allowing both heat 
in the daytime and counter-radiation at night, are not rain- 
producers. During July and August, the two hottest months of 
the year, precipitation, on the average, is one inch at both 
Valladolid and Salamanca. Nor is precipitation high during any 
month of the year. As the Gonzalez Quijano map shows, the 
greater part of the northern meseta receives less than 20 inches 
in an average year. There is reason for this area to be called 
"yellow, dusty Spain." 


In strong contrast to the meseta is the area of the mountain 
rim and the seaward slopes on the north and the northwest. 
There the effect of the ocean reduces the extremes and elimi- 


I i Less than 500 mm = c. 20 
f?T?;l 500 to 1000mm = c. 20"to c.39" 
1000 to 1500 mm - c. 39"to c.59" 
[500 to 2000mm * c. 59"toc.79" 
2000 to 2500mm = c.79"toc.98" 

rmrni 2500 to 2eoomm = c. 98"" 

WBM 2800 and over = c.HO"and over 


Figure 6. Yearly Precipitation in the Iberian Peninsula 



nates drought, so that the two identifying characteristics of the 
meseta are entirely lacking. The temperature range between 
the mean of the coldest and the warmest months is moderate 
(under 22 F on the average), but as the diurnal range is also 
low, the absolute maximum and absolute minimum tempera- 
tures fall within relatively narrow limits. The searing heat of 
the interior is virtually unknown, as is the bitter cold of winter. 
Snow is hardly ever seen except on the high mountains. Of 
course, such boons carry their own deficiencies. The brilliant 
skies of the meseta are infrequent. The greenness and mildness 
of the Atlantic fringe is due to a high percentage of cloudiness 
through most of the year. The air is moist in all months (the 
yearly mean relative humidity of the city of Braga in the 
verdant Minho Province of Portugal 78 per cent is higher 
than that of the month when the relative humidity of Leon is 
highest 77 per pent). Precipitation is persistent and copious. 
Everywhere, for example, in Northwest Portugal the yearly 
total is over 40 inches and a large part of the Portuguese Minho 
receives between 40 and 80 inches. ( Compare Braga's 73 inches 
with less than 20 inches received at Valladolid, about 200 miles 
away, on approximately the same parallel of latitude.) The 
mountain slopes record totals up to one hundred and some 
crests over 120 inches. 2 


On the north coast and the northernmost part o the west 
coast, where the winds are onshore throughout the year, rain- 
fall is considerable during all months, but south of Cape 
Finisterre a summer drought is recorded during the period of 
the most northerly extension of the Azorean high. On the coast 
of southent-Galicia the period of relative drought is almost two 
months long and this increases as one goes southward into 
Portugal. Actually the dry summer months of North Portugal 

2 Orlando Rlbeiro, Portugal, p. 47. Rainfall increases upward on all 
windward slopes presumably to the crests. None of these slopes is high 
enough to show diminution upward. 



and Galicia would not seem dry to an inhabitant of the interior 
of the peninsula. For example, at Braga during July and August 
there are, on the average, 1 4/10 inches and 1 inch respectively 
of rainfall. Compare these figures with those for the wettest 
months of Valladolid which record, on the average, 1 8/10 
inches each. In other words, the two dry months of Braga re- 
ceive nearly 2 1/2 inches of rain, whereas the two wettest 
months of Valladolid show slightly more than 3 1/2 inches, 
There is reason for Portuguese to refer fondly to the "green 


Within Portugal itself there is another important contrast in 
climate, that between the rainy, green north and the "Medi- 
terranean" south.\ Whereas in the Minho the summer drought 
represents a brief respite in a rainy year, for the extreme south 
the rainy period represents an interlude in a relatively dry year. 
The winter rainy season of the Algarve is scarcely longer than 
the Minho dry season of summer. However, the transition be- 
tween heavy rainfall and relative drought is not made as 
abruptly from north to south as it is from west to east. The 
transition from oceanic climate in the Portuguese Minho to 
m^seta-type climate of Tras-os-Montes occurs in a short dis- 
tance due to the mountains that separate the two provinces, 
llie transition from oceanic, "Atlantic" climate on the north, 
where the storm tracks dominate through most of the year, to 
"Mediterranean" climate of the south, where there is a domi- 
nance through several months of the Azorean high-pressure 
area with subsident, calm, stable, dry air and clear skies, how- 
ever, is a matter of latitude and takes place over a longer 

3 This contrast is expressed in the title and the text of the charming 
and perceptive book by Orlando Ribeiro, Portugal, o mediterrdneo e o 


s^\ Temperature (in Fahrenheit) 
dl Precipitation (in Inches) 
Figures in parenthesis - Elevation in feet above sea level 



Viana do Castelo 


Figueira da Foz 
(23 1 ) 

(792 ( ) 


Figure 7. Climatic Stations of Portugal 




The climatic transition from north to south in Portugal is 
clearly shown by the statistical records of representative sta- 
tions along the coast. Viana do Castelo, in the Minho, receives 
61 inches of rainfall in a year and records two months with 
less than 1 6/10 inches (40 millimeters). Porto, near the mouth 
of the Douro River, receives 50 inches of rainfall and shows 
less than three months with rainfall under 1 6/10 inches. From 
Porto southward to Figueira da Foz there is a notable change. 
Figueira receives only 24 inches of rainfall and has five months 
with less than 1 6/10 inches each. Still farther to the south, 
at Lisbon, the figures are approximately the same as those for 
Figueira da Foz. At the extreme south, the Algarve is distinct 
from the rest of Mediterranean Portugal, as mountains shelter 
it on the north. It faces out over the sea toward Africa and its 
climate is actually more like that of North Africa than it is, for 
example, like that of Lisbon. Faro, the capital of the Algarve, 
receives less than 16 inches of rainfall in a normal year and 
records six months with less than 1 6/10 inches rainfall. On 
the average, Algarvian stations receive less rainfall than the 
average received by meseta stations of Spain. 


Through the year, the Iberian peninsula comes under the 
influence of three meteorologic action centers: the Azorean 
high, the North Atlantic low, and the action center within the 
peninsula. The interior, the meseta, acts as a small continent 
to produce seasonal effects peculiar to itself. 


During the summer, the Azorean high of the South Atlantic 
extends to the north, covering the latitudes of most of the 
peninsula at times even to the Bay of Biscay. At this season, 
Mediterranean summer, with stable air and clear, warm, dry 
days, blankets the south and west littorals up to southern 



Galicia. The interior of the peninsula, isolated from the sea by 
mountains, is greatly heated, and becomes a low-pressure area 
in the midst of the great area of high pressures around it. 
Winds blow in toward the center of the low from all sides, but 
when the low is particularly pronounced in the midsummer 
months especially July and August little rain falls on the 
meseta. The winds from the south and southeast have their 
origin in dry Africa and absorb but little moisture in their tra- 
verse of the Mediterranean. Winds from the southwest and 
west, blowing in over relatively low and warm surfaces, are 
increasingly heated as they penetrate into the peninsula, and 
their moisture capacity is correspondingly increased. More 
significant than this, however, is the fact that the summer 
thermal low is relatively shallow. Above 10,000 feet the high 
of upper latitudes extends southward over it and establishes a 
condition of stability. During the rare periods when the Iberian 
depression spreads and joins that of Morocco, there are searing 
winds out of the east quarter, with temperatures well over 
100F and with a relative humidity as low as 10 per cent. 4 Only 
at the north and the extreme northwest do the inblowing winds 
yield summer rainfalls as they rise steeply over the mountains 
seeking the Iberian low; but rainfall occurs only on the wind- 
ward side as the humid, oceanic air rises, cools, and condenses 
moisture. Within the mountain barrier, the meseta continues 
to be dry ( Fig. 2 ) , f or the descending air masses show decreas- 
ing relative humidity. 


In the winter, the Azorean high is reduced, and is replaced 
in the latitudes of the peninsula by the track of North Atlantic 
cyclones, which finally affect all of the peninsular peripheries 
and bring the influence of the ocean in over the land. Since 
from the end of November the temperatures of sea water are 
at their maximum in comparison with those of the air above 
them, conditions favor condensation. The humid masses of air 

4 Orlando Ribeiro, Portugal, p. 44. 



are carried landward by a series of cyclones, sometimes in a 
chain that will last for days or even weeks without perceptible 
break. Such warm-front rains come in the form of drizzles that 
may be persistent for days, through the passage of the several 
consecutive lows. Occasionally, there may be a fall in tempera- 
ture, accompanied by quick showers, and then the dissipation 
of the clouds marking the passage of a cold front. Such are 
brief interludes. To this frontal precipitation is added, on the 
westward slopes, orographic rainfall produced when the 
humid masses are forced up the mountain slopes and snowfall 
on the higher crests. 

Again, as during the summer period, the meseta is anomalous, 
for it is then linked with the great high-pressure area of Asia 
and Central Europe. While the littorals of both Mediterranean 
and Atlantic Iberia (and also the Pyrenean slopes) are rainy, 
the interior is dry, clear, and cold. In fact, the high pressure 
of the interior increases the precipitation on the peripheries, 
for it often blocks the entry of cyclones. At times these stagnate 
at the edges, bringing large amounts of rainfall to the coasts 
and snow on the mountains. 5 


The rainfall of the interior differs seasonally from that of the 
border regions. It is dominantly that of spring and fall, taking 
place in the intermediate periods of change from one pro- 
nounced anomalous pressure condition to its opposite anomaly. 
These equinoctial seasons are times of unstable conditions and 
capricious weather, when one should be prepared for a beauti- 
ful, warm day with temperatures in the eighties to be followed 
by a freeze. With the onset of spring, cyclonic disturbances do 
not have the frequency, regularity, or duration of those of 

5 This is particularly notable in the Bay of Biscay. See Ecluardo Hcs- 
singer, "La Distribucion estacional de las precipitaciones en la peninsula 
Iberica y sus causas" (trans, from German by Valentin Masachs Alavc- 
dra), Estudios Geogrdficos, X, No. 34 (Feb., 1949), 124. 



winter, and they are interspersed with periods of fine and in- 
creasingly warm weather. They may be, however, periods of 
hazard for the farmer, because of unpredictability. Due to in- 
creasing heating of the land in March, the high of the interior 
is being dissipated and the low of the Mediterranean broadens, 
increasing the flow of air into the meseta. Rainfall increases 
there until May, when, with the greatly increased warmth of 
the surface, frequent thundershowers make this the month of 
maximum rainfall. By July, the Azorean high has spread over 
the west coast, bringing stable air and replacing the track of 
the North Atlantic cyclones. Autumn conditions are roughly 
comparable, in reverse, to those of spring. It is a season of 
unstable air, of unpredictability, and a secondary maximum of 
rainfall is recorded then for the meseta. 


Throughout the year, temperatures are closely relative to 
oceanic exposure. Summer isotherms are roughly parallel to the 
ocean and closely spaced. Temperatures rise sharply inward 
to a maximum near the center of the meseta. The reverse is 
essentially true in winter, but not with the same degree of 
nicety; temperatures reach their minimum near the center of 
the peninsula, the west coast, with summer temperatures 
roughly homogeneous from the southern Alentejo to the 
Minho, is somewhat differentiated in winter by the slightly 
lower temperatures of the Minho as compared with those of 
the south (Fig. 5). 

The contrasts described in this chapter, first, between the 

The Algarve, isolated by the mountains of Monchique and Caldeirao, 
is distinct. It is largely untouched by even such cold as may affect the 
Alentejo in winter. However, an occasional outbreak of cold air may take 
place when a deep high spreads westward from the interior. This 
occurred in the winter of 1953-1954, and again in 1955-1956, bringing 
snow to most of the littoral of Portugal and freezing weather even to the 
Algarve. Such cold causes great distress, as it happens rarely and there is 
no preparation for it. 



rainy northwest periphery and the meseta, that is, between 
Atlantic and continental climates, and second, between the 
Atlantic northwest and Mediterranean South Portugal, will be 
made even more obvious in the chapter on vegetation. 7 

7 The following, in addition to the works cited above, have been most 
useful in the study of climate: Pedro M. Gonzalez Quijano, Mapa Pluvio- 
metrico de Espana, text and map of nine sheets; Hessinger, op. cit., 59- 
128; Wilhelm Semmelhack, "Beitrage zur Klimatographie von Nordspau- 
ien und Portugal," "Die Niederschlagsverhaltnisse," Archiv dcr Deut- 
schen Seewarte, XXXIII, No. 2 (Hamburg, 1910), pp. 1-90; "Nieder- 
schlagskarte der Iberischen Halbinsel," Annalen der Hydro graphic, LX 
(1932), 28-32, and map; "Temperaturkarten der Iberischen Halbinsel," 
ibid., pp. 327-333, with tables and maps; O Clima de Portugal especially 
Pts. I-V (1942-1946); H. Amorim Ferreira, Distribuiqao da chuva no 
territorio do continente Portugites, text of 14 pp. and map; E. Alt, 
Klimakunde von Mittel-und-Siideiiropa, Vol. Ill, Pt. M, Handbuch der 
Klimatologie, ed. Koppen and R. Geiger. 


The Soils of Northern 
and Western Iberia 

J 1 

N 1927 a General Map of the Soils of Europe was 
published, giving the results of investigations made 
under the auspices of the International Society of Soil 
Science. 1 It is particularly useful for this study as its 
soils regions are effectively simplified and allow a quick com- 
prehension of the relations between regions of soils, climate, 
and vegetation in northwestern Europe (See Fig. 8 and com- 
pare with Figs. 2, 6, 7, and 9). 

AND THE Meseta 

One is struck by the great stretch of "moderately podsolised 
forest soils" 2 running from interior Asia, south of 60 latitude, 

1 General Map of the Soils of Europe, 1927, by the Sub-Commission 
for the European Soil Map of the Fifth Commission of the International 
Society of Soil Science, Chairman, H, Stremme, Danzig. German text 
published in Danzig, 1927. Translation by Dr. W. G. Ogg, 1929. 

2 A podsol is a soil developed in cool, moist climates under forest 
vegetation, commonly coniferous. It is leached in its upper layers and is 

Figure 8. Soil Regions of Western Europe (Legend on Opposite Page) 















along the coasts of the Baltic and North seas (not including the 
peninsula of Jutland), through northern and western France, 
the Pyrenees, the Cantabrians, Galicia, and the Minho Province 
of northwest Portugal. Only the western portion of this area 
is shown in Figure 8. To the south of the Minho Province a 

usually strongly acid. Highly siliceous materials are most susceptible to 
podsolization. The soil has a characteristic grayish-white color. Soils and 
Men, Yearbook of the United States Department of Agriculture, 1938, 
pp. 972, 1020. 



wide band of these soils extends along the humid interior up- 
land of Portugal, reaching approximately to the Tejo River, 
but along the Atlantic Coast the Douro River marks its south- 
ern limit. This soils area can be equated with the area of 
oceanic influence, abundant rainfall, relatively mild tempera- 
tures, and mixed-forest vegetation. 

In sharp contrast are the soils of the meseta, lying to the 
lee of the northern and northwestern mountains of Iberia, 
where wide areas are covered with brown forest soils or bright 
chestnut-colored dry forest soils, bespeaking the drought of the 


One of the contributors to the map of 1927 was Emilio H. 
del Villar, who presumably was responsible for the Iberian 
area. After that publication, however, he continued his work 
and in 1937 published a volume wholly devoted to the soils 
of the Iberian Peninsula/' In this text and its accompanying 
map he makes far more detailed specifications for the soils 
regions. In fact, the amount of detail makes this map less use- 
ful than the earlier, more generalized map of 1927. The text, 
however, is helpful, even though at first glance it seems to 
contradict his findings as published in the report of 1927. For 
example, the great area, mentioned above, of "moderately 
podsolized forest soils" is broken up into subareas, in terms of 
parent materials. The assumption is that here the parent ma- 
terials were more important in the ultimate nature of the soils 
than was climate, 4 Those developed from granites are different 
from those derived from Silurian schists. Both of these are in 
separate categories from the soils derived from the calcareous 
Mesozoic materials. 


Emilio H. del Villar, Los Suelos de la "Peninsula Lnso-lberica. 
4 Ibid., p. 67. 




From the Pyrenees to S. Vicente, thirty miles beyond San- 
tander, is an almost solid zone of the "general occurrence of 
humid siallitic soils." From S. Vicente to Oviedo is an area 
where most of the soils are derived from calcareous materials. 
To the south of this zone, and intermingling with it, are "humid 
siallitic soils." To the west of Oviedo is a great zone of "the 
general occurrence of the acid-humic type soils/' which extends 
through Galicia, North Portugal and along the humid highland 
interior of the Bejras to the TejoJUyer. In spite of Del Vfllar's 
differentiation according to parent materials, the great soil 
areas indicate their intimate association with climate. Even the 
area of soils derived from calcareous rocks is now broadly 
similar to its neighboring areas, for under the climatic condi- 
tions of the rainy lowland the soils have been largely decalci- 
fied. 5 In general, all of these soils can be associated with 
Marbut's pedalfers. 6 They are acid in reaction, but not to the 
degree that would inhibit a healthy forest growth. 7 


Within the angle of the northern and western mountains 
appears a zone of "intermediate siallitic soils." Farther inland 
begins the great zone of "xero-siallitic soils," which broadens 
southward. In the interior areas the pedalfers become less and 

5 Ibid., p. 199. 

6 Ibid., p. 32. Marbut, former chief of the United States Soil Survey, 
distinguished between two great soil groups in terms of the accumulation 
of carbonate of calcium or the lack of such accumulation. The first he 
named "pedocals," using the Greek pedo (ground) plus Latin calcis or 
calx (lime). They are associated with dry or relatively dry areas. For the 
other great group he coined the name "pedalfer," using the same Greek 
prefix but adding the first two letters from alumen and ferrum, the Latin 
words for aluminum and iron, respectively. The pedalfers usually show 
not only the lack of a zone of lime accumulation but the positive accumu- 
lation of iron and aluminum compounds. They are to be associated with 
humid areas. See Soils and Men, Yearbook of Agriculture, USDA, 1938, 
p. 982. 

7 H. Gaussen, "Le Milieu physique et la foret au Portugal," Revue 
Geographique des Pyrenees et du Sud-Ouest, XI, Nos. 3-4 (1940), 240. 



less acid as the elevations decrease and the land is drier, toward 
the Iberian interior. At Zamora on the west, and to the north 
of Burgos, begin the areas of pedocals that cover most of 
eastern Spain and most of the area to the south of the Sierra 


A large proportion of the acid-humic soils of the northwest 
occur at present in what Del Villar calls the "agropedic phase." 
The differences between them depend upon cultivation, im- 
provement, and manuring. The Portuguese say that these soils 
are man-made. This situation seems to be a feature of areas 
where farming practices inherited from northern and Central 
Europe have been common since remote ages. Del Villar says: 

... the acid-humic soils are commonly considered poor; but it is 
necessary to qualify and adjust this judgment. . . . within this acid- 
humic region there are areas of agricultural production generally 
more intensive than that of the dry lands of the peninsula . , . soils 
of the same type dominate the greater part of the British Isles, 
Holland, North Germany, and Denmark, countries which show the 
most intensive agricultural production in Europe. 8 

The intensity of cultivation, especially in North Portugal, must 
come as a surprise to anyone seeing it for the first time. It 
certainly was surprising for one American who previously knew 
the somewhat comparable climatic environment of western 
British Columbia, where population is indeed sparse. To see 
the Minho Province of northwest Portugal, with a density of 
rural population as great as virtually any in Europe, is a revela- 
tion as to the capacity of a determined and ancient farming 
society. However, determination and skill cannot compensate 
completely for untoward natural conditions. That excessive 
rainfall and leaching are detrimental to the soils may be indi- 
cated by the use of the adjective galega, (referring to Galician 
areas where rainfall figures are especially high ) in the common 

8 Del Villar, Suelos de la Peninsula, p. 66. 



language of the Portuguese peasant. A soil thus described is 
light and infertile. 9 


The province of Tras-os-Montes lies east of the mountain 
barrier that limits the Minho Province. It is politically Portu- 
guese because of its geologic and tectonic history, which has 
partially isolated it from Spain and has allowed more conven- 
ient communications with the west. In other ways it is more 
Spanish than Portuguese. Its soils have more the quality of 
those of Leon than those of the Minho. In the north of Tras-os- 
Montes and through much of the Spanish province of Leon are 
found "intermediate siallitic soils" (according to the Del Villar 
terminology), 10 and in this relatively dry area, parent-material 
differences are strongly reflected in the soils. The hard mica 
schists do not break down readily, and because of this fact 
there are large areas of shallow and essentially rocky soils 1X that 
support only a jneagre heath. Other schists, somewhat more 
friable, break down more readily, the reflection of which can 
be seen in the easily established forest growth. 12 Southern Tras- 
os-Montes is characterized by the "general occurrence of xero- 
siallitic soils/' that is, soils with neutral reaction and low 
organic content, which develop under conditions of relative 
dryness and from siliceous parent materials. They cover not 
only southern Tras-os-Montes but also an enormous area of the 

9 J. Leite de Vasconcellos, Origem historica e formagao do povo 
Portugues, p. 15. 

10 Del Villar, Suelos de la Peninsula, III. He says that these are approxi- 
mately the braunerde of Ramann, and Robinson calls them brown forest 
soils. According to the classification in the United States they would be 
listed as the most acid of the "non-calcareous pedocals" or "non-calcic 
brown soils." This is according to the information supplied by Raymond 
E. Storie, Department of Soils, University of California, Berkeley, Cali- 
fornia. Mr. Storie has recently spent several months in areas of the 
western Mediterranean studying soils and their distribution. 

11 Del Villar calls them "oropedic," so-named because they appear most 
frequently in mountains. In such soils the A horizon lies directly upon the 
C horizon, or parent material. Del Villar, Suelos de la Peninsula, p. 33. 

12 Gaussen, loc. cit. 



interior of Spain (the provinces of Salamanca, Caceres, and 
most of New Castile, east to Ciudad Real), as well as most of 
the Alentejo in Portugal. 


There are two other relatively dry areas of Portugal where 
soils reflect the parent material. These appear distinct on the 
Del Villar map by reason of their calcareous rock. This is a 
situation very different from that of the calcareous area of the 
humid north, to the east of Oviedo, where the lime is effec- 
tively leached. The larger of the two areas is clearly delimited 
on the east by the Lisbon-Tomar-Coimbra-Espinho line. Domi- 
nant within the region are terra rossa soils. This term is com- 
monly used by European pedologists to describe a calcareous 
soil stained red by iron oxides, which is favored in development 
by the Mediterranean climate with its pronounced wet and dry 
seasons. The second area of terra rossa soils is that lying to the 
north of the Algarvian littoral. Under Algarvian rainfall con- 
ditions the limestone is not decalcified, and in many places the 
parent material is exposed at the surface, loose material on top 
being carried away as fast as it appears. Limestone rock and 
terra rossa soils reach to the sea in the western half of the 
southern coast. 

Against the northern region of limestone lies the great 
quadrilateral area of dunes, and the eastern half of the Algar- 
vian coast is likewise a distinct area of sand deposit. Such areas 
are shown on the Del Villar map as being of "sandy-skeletal 
coastal soils." 


In spite of the differences between subareas indicated by 
Del Villar, the fact remains that from the French border at the 
western end of the Pyrenees to central Portugal there is a 
great, unbroken stretch of either "humid siallitic" soils or of 



those pertaining to the series next to it in order of acidity, the 
"acid-humic" soils. According to the United States' classifica- 
tion, all would fall into the category of moderately podsolized 
soils, which brings us back, essentially, to the classification of 
Stremme. 13 Whichever classification or map is used, the general 
fact emerges that the great soils areas are in accord with the 
regions of climate of northern and western Iberia. The humid 
peripheries are clearly set apart, in soil types, from the dry 
interior and the south of the peninsula. 

ia For Portugal only, a useful map of soils has been elaborated and 
published under the direction of Luis Bramao, "Carta dos Solos de 
Portugal," Estacao Agronomica Nacional, Direccao Geral dos Services 
Agricolas. It is not serviceable for this chapter, as it does not show 
extensions of the soils regions beyond the political limits of Portugal. 


Vegetation Regions of Northern 
and Western Iberia 



GREAT VEGETATION zone, essentially homogene- 
ous in character, stretches from Central Europe to 
Portugal (Fig. 9). Troll calls this the Holly Region. 
Nearest the ocean, it is the first of his three divisions 
of the forests of Western Europe. 1 The second is the Beech 
Region, some of whose species are found mixed with those of 
the Holly Region in Iberia; the third, and farthest from the 
ocean, is the Oak Region, with which we shall not be con- 
cerned, as it does not extend into the peninsula. 

The Holly Region, an area of mild winters and summers and 
with rainfall in all seasons of the year, includes northwestern 
Iberia on the west, and northern and central Germany on the 
east. Besides the eponymous holly (Ilex aqiiifolitim) it is char- 
acterized by common gorse (Ulex europaeus), several of the 
heathers (especially Erica tetralix and E. drier ea), and the 
primrose (Primula acaulis). Troll's Beech Region lies to the 

1 Karl Troll, "Ozeanische Ziige im Pflanzenkleid Mitteleuropas," Freie 
Wege Vergleichender Erdkunde, pp. 307-325. 



east and south of the Holly Region, but a large number of its 
species occur also in the latter and accompany it westward into 
humid Iberia. Some of these are: English oak (Quercus robur, 
which replaces beech in Galicia and Portugal), elm, ash, pop- 
lar, black alder, plane, birch (only in the extreme north of 
Portugal in the mountains), yew, sweet-gale (Myrica gale), 
foxgloves, the common fern, brambles, broom (Sarothamnus 
scoparius), wild plum (Prunus spinosa), hawthorne, ivy, and 
wild pear (Pyrus commttnis). 

AND THE Meseta 2 

The striking difference in floristic composition and physi- 
ognomy of the vegetation between the humid Iberian border 
and the meseta, in the lee of the mountains in interior Iberia, 
is immediately apparent. None of the plants given above as 
typical of the Holly Region can tolerate the climatic conditions 
of the meseta. The same is true of other plants of Central and 
Western Europe such as the heather (Calluna vulgaris) and 
the brake (Pteris aquilina). The maritime pine (Finns mari- 
tima} and the edible European chestnut (Castanea sativa) of 
the northwest periphery of Iberia cannot tolerate the meseta 

2 With regard to the vegetation of Portugal I am chiefly indebted to 
J. Daveau, "Geographic botanique du Portugal." 1. "La Flore Httorale du 
Portugal/* Boletim Sociedade Broteriana, XIV (1897), 3-54. 2. "La 
Flore des plaines et collines voisines du littoral," ibid., XIX (1902), 3- 
140. 3. "Les Stations de la zone des plaines et collines/' ibid., XXI 
(1904-1905), 16-85. 

Also helpful has been H. Gaussen, "Le Milieu physique et la foret 
au Portugal/* Revue Geographique des Pyrenees et du Sud-Ouest, XI, 
Nos. 3-4 (1940), 219-267, and M. Willkomm, "As Regioes botanicas de 
Portugal," trans, from Grundzuge der Pflanzenverbreitung auf der lloeri- 
schen Halbinsel (Die Vegetation der Erde, Vol. I) in Boletim da 
Sociedade Broteriana, XVII (Coimbra, 1900), 89-154; and in this 
chapter, as in so many others, Hermann Lautensach, especially in his 
1932 work on Portugal, "Das Land als Ganzes/' Petermanns Mitteilun- 
gen, No. 213 (Gotha, 1932), as well as his "A Individualidade geografica 
de Portugal no conjunto da Peninsula Iberica/' Boletim da sociedade de 
geografia de Lisboa, XLIX (1931), 362-409. 



Figure 9. Vegetation Zones of Europe 

because of its drought. The cultivated olive, almond, and fig, 
Mediterranean plants that are grown in North Portugal, are 
excluded by winter cold. Although it is true that many of the 
species of the Beech Region are found not only in the Holly 
Region, but also on the meseta, in the latter area they form a 
negligible part of the plant community, whereas in the former 
the individuals are more numerous, show exceptional growth 
and there reach their southwestern distributional extreme in 
Europe. On the contrary, some species find suitable conditions 
for existence on the meseta but cannot tolerate the dampness 
of the extreme north and northwest. Perhaps the most common 
example is that of the holm oak (Q. ilex). 


The humid outer edges of Iberia can be subdivided into a 
northern zone and a western zone. The first includes all of 
Galicia except for a narrow area of the west coast below the 



latitude of Santiago de Compostela. The second is essentially 
North Portugal but with an extension along the coast that in- 
cludes the rias of Vigo, Pontevedra, and Arosa of Galicia. The 
western zone is distinct from the northern zone for two obvious 
reasons. In the first place, beech is not found in the western 
zone nor is birch (Betula sp.), except in remote, high moun- 
tains. Secondly, many of the Mediterranean species follow the 
west coast up into southern Galicia, but most of them are not 
to be found in the northern zone. Willkomm recognized the 
western zone as being one of special character because of the 
surprising combination of plants from diverse regions which 
thrive there. To quote him: 

. . . this mixture of cultivated plants of south and central Europe 
is mostly in the north of Portugal and west Galicia, which gives to 
the picturesque valleys of this mountainous region an enchanting 
aspect, for there one sees trees of both pip and stone fruits, walnuts 
and chestnuts at the side of and mixed with figs, almonds, olives, 
oranges, vines, and maize fields next to fields of rye and meadows 
of trefoil. . . . one finds araucarias, eucalyptus . . . willows, poplars, 
elms, ashes, lindens . . . associated with ornamental trees of North 
America, Cape of Good Hope, Japan and China . . . 3 

It is to be noted that the division of Willkomm sets off political 
Portugal from Galicia to the north, with the exception of the 
narrow coastal strip, including the rias above-mentioned. 

The change between the two vegetational areas results es- 
pecially from the difference in rainfall, in total amount as well 
as seasonal distribution. The extreme northwest of Galicia is a 
region of rainfall in all months of the year and its total is the 
highest of any Iberian littoral, whereas the North Portuguese 
area, plus the extension into southwest Galicia, has less rainfall 
in total and a summer drought period (Fig. 7). The northern 
limit of intensive olive, grape, and citrus cultivation occurs at 
approximately this division line, the line of Santiago-Orense. 

The North Portuguese area, i.e. Willkomm's Western Zone 
of Humid Iberia, in its floristic composition and appearance, is 

3 Willkomm, "As Regioes botanicas . . . ," p. 130. 



similar to northwest Europe. The maritime pine, the principal 
species on the predominantly siliceous soils, is found 011 the 
western slopes of the mountains to an elevation of forty-six 
hundred feet. Along the open river valleys (i.e. especially the 
Mondego and Tejo valleys) it reaches into the interior. Even 
as far south as the valley of the Tejo it is the dominant tree. 
Associated with it, but more restricted in range extending less 
far into the western littoral and not reaching to the same eleva- 
tions on the mountain sides is the oak common to northwest- 
ern Europe, Quercus robur, which is largely replaced above 
thirteen hundred feet elevation by the Pyrenees oak (Q. toza). 
Both oaks are almost entirely strange to the region south of 
the Tejo. This is also true of gorse (Ulex europaeus), Armeria 
maritima, A. elongata and Rhododendron baeticum, which are 
important members of the community. Endemics are few. 


Within Portugal itself, other vegetational subdivisions can 
be recognized. The area north of the Mondego River differs 
greatly from that south of the Tejo River. Between the two 
rivers is an area of transition, particularly marked on the coastal 
fringe. The sharp differences in floristic composition between 
the areas are due fundamentally to climate. It is in these lati- 
tudes that there are considerable contrasts in rainfall and in 
the length of the summer drought. From north to south there 
is a diminution in total rainfall and an increase in the period 
of drought, the combination of which reaches a critical point 
at approximately the mouth of the Mondego River. The yearly 
total of rainfall at this point is only half of that at the mouth 
of the Douro River (approximately 24 inches compared to 50 
inches). The summer drought period lasts almost five months 
at the mouth of the Mondego River as compared to less than 
three months at the mouth of the Douro River. 4 It may be 
added that drought conditions are accentuated toward the 
south by an increasing rate of evaporation. 

4 O Clima de Portugal, Pts. V, VI. 



This area is strongly affected by the seasonal alternation be- 
tween the periods of dominance of North Atlantic cyclones, 
with rainfall, and of South Atlantic high pressures, with subsi- 
dent, stable air and drought. Thus while one might expect a 
transition in vegetational complex from that of the north, an 
edaphic factor, actually, is responsible for the abruptness of 
the change. The Mondego River marks the meeting of the 
siliceous rocks of the north with the calcareous materials on the 
seaward fringe of Portuguese Estremadura, lying between the 
Mondego and Tejo rivers. A great number of the northwest 
European plants of northern Portugal are siliceous and cannot 
tolerate, or tolerate poorly, the limy soils of western Estrema- 
dura. Most of the species limited to North Portugal have their 
southern coastal limit to the north of the Mondego. 

In this area there is nearly a balance, in terms of numbers, 
between the species of northwestern Europe and those of the 
Mediterranean region. Thirty-eight per cent of the species are 
those of northwestern Europe ( compared to 58 per cent in the 
area north of the Mondego River), and 42 per cent belong to 
the Mediterranean. In contrast to the north, in this middle area 
Iberian species have importance, and there is a greater degree 
of endemism. African (Mauritanian) species are almost four 
times as numerous (85 to 22). Maritime pine is far less im- 
portant, due both to lower rainfall and to the calcareous soils. 
The English oak (Q. robur), its northern companion, is found 
in the transition area also, but both are largely restricted to 
the wetter slopes and siliceous soils, whereas the Portuguese 
oak (Q. lusitanica) , a pronounced calciphyte, grows vigorously. 
This tree belongs quite properly in a transition area, for it is 
intermediate in appearance and morphology as compared to 
the other Portuguese oaks, deciduous, but with a tendency 
toward permanence of its leaves. Both the wild and the culti- 
vated olive grow in the transition area, although on the cal- 
careous soils they appear more as spiny bushes than as trees. 
Among the bushy plants, Quercus coccifera and Q. humilis are 
common, although somewhat exclusive of each other. Quercus 
humilis requires siliceous soils, whereas Q. coccifera, although 



preferring siliceous, can tolerate calcareous soils. The genus 
Cistus is far more important here than in the area of the north 
(thirty species compared to nine) and Genista even more so 
(fifty species as compared to ten), The same relation exists 
with regard to certain members of the mint family ( Labiatae ) . 
The genera Phlomis and Sideritis, common in the transition 
area, do not appear at all north of the Mondego. Of thirteen 
species of Teucrium in Portugal, only one appears in the north, 
and of twenty species of Thijmus only two are found there. 


Portugal south of the Tejo River is quite a different floristic 
area. The species common to northwest Europe amount to less 
than one-third of the total, whereas Mediterranean species are 
the most numerous of all. While a few Iberian species are com- 
mon and there is a liberal admixture of Algerian and Moroccan 
species, there is also an abundance of endemics. Maritime pine 
extends southward only to the Setiibal Peninsula, as it cannot 
tolerate the high summer temperatures and relatively low rain- 
fall of the Alentejo. It is replaced, in the western Alentejo, by 
the Italian stone pine (Finns pinea), which grows well on the 
quartzite sands of the region. However, the Alentejo in general 
is not a pine region. The dominant trees of the large eastern 
section are the cork and holm oaks (Quercus suber and Q. ilex 
respectively). Olives grow well, both the cultivated and, on 
the calcareous "islands," the wild olive. In large areas bushes 
are dominant, often to the complete exclusion of trees. Es- 
pecially common is the gum cistus (Cistus ladaniferus) , 
Genista $pp>, and Stauracanthus sp. Important also are Kermes 
oak (Quercus coccifera], Q. humilis, Halimium sp., various 
Ulexes and Pterospartum sp. The dwarf Mediterranean palm 
(Chamaerops humilis) and carob (Ceratonia siliqua), with 
their Portuguese center in the Algarve, reach their northern 
limit just to the south of the Tejo River in the Setiibal Peninsula. 




It is difficult, at best, to establish vegetation areas where 
complex mixing of species occurs. This is made more difficult 
through alteration by man. For at least three thousand years 
the nature and the extent of forests has been under attack. The 
results of this pressure are difficult to determine, but there can 
be no doubt that extensive changes have taken place. For 
example, in the western Minho the forest ordinarily reaches to 
no more than about eighteen hundred feet elevation. There is 
no evident pedologic or climatic reason why the forests do not 
extend to the summits of the mountains. As can be readily seen 
from present practices, the need for fuels, fertilizers ( especially 
for the species of the nitrogen-fixing Ulex), and pastures has 
led to the destruction of trees and their consequent replace- 
ment by shrubby vegetation and weeds. It has also added to 
the erosion of the upper mountain slopes. Nevertheless, what- 
ever changes have been made by man, it may be safely assumed 
that the broad vegetational distinctions between the humid 
northwest and the interior, and those between the area with the 
Central European complex and the region with the Mediter- 
ranean complex, exist in response to environmental conditions. 

Perhaps no reader will be surprised at the close coincidence 
between the areas of landforms, climate, soils, and vegetation 
that has been indicated in this and in previous chapters, but 
it will do no harm to emphasize the fact again, as it has decisive 
bearing upon the differences between culture regions in this 
part of the peninsula, the subject now to be considered. 


Prehistoric Immigrants into Iberia 


OMO SAPIENS appeared in Iberia in that part of 
the Old Stone Age known as the Upper Paleolithic. 
He was a hunter, and in Spain as well as in southern 
France left evidence of his genius as an artist. Such 
men came to Iberia from Southern France prior to 10,000 B.C., 1 
entering through the low passageway between the shore and 
the west end of the Pyrenees. Following the slopes of the 
Cantabrian Mountains, they went westward at least as far as 
Asturias. For this there is direct supporting evidence. It can 
hardly be doubted that they knew also the country beyond. 
They may, indeed, have entered and hunted along the Medi- 
terranean shores of Spain as well, for the wall paintings of the 
eastern provinces from Lerida to Almeria have been attributed 
to them. 

However, this credit now seems undeserved, in the light of 
the paucity of apparel shown in the pictures and also by the 
appearance of the dog, apparently as a companion to the men. 2 

1 Luis Pericot Garcia, La Espana primitiva, p. 111. 

2 Julio Caro Baroja, Los Pueblos del Norte de la Peninsula Iberica, p. 28. 



The hunters of the Paleolithic lived in the late Glacial Period, 
whereas the semi-nudity of the figures depicted in the paintings 
of northeastern Spain does not suggest such a climate but 
rather that of a subsequent, wanner period of time. The ap- 
pearance of the dog is also disconcerting to the enthusiasts for 
the Paleolithic identification of these people. It is generally 
agreed that the dog's domestication took place in the Epipaleo- 
lithic Period, that is, in the epilogue to the Paleolithic, when 
the climate was warmer due to the recession of the ice sheets 
and when a new type of culture had succeeded that of the 
brilliant hunters. Nevertheless, it cannot be doubted that the 
Upper Paleolithic hunters-and-artists ranged broadly across the 
peninsula at times, for their paintings ( clearly of the same type 
as those of the great Cantabrian center of their art) are found 
in the center of the peninsula, as well as in the province of 
Malaga in the south. The evidence, however, suggests that their 
numbers were small beyond Cantabria. 


While the hunters-and-artists of the Upper Paleolithic Period 
were living in the north, Capsian culture, 3 of a distinctly differ- 
ent basis and coming from Africa, spread into Mediterranean 
Spain. Between the two culture regions there was a "cultural 
abyss," according to Mendes Correa. 4 His expression is a good 
one if one keeps in mind that it indicates the existence of an 
intervening culture of a lower type, but it does not mean that 
the territory was uninhabited. People were living on the meseta 
(witness the traces of Magdalenian cave art in the provinces 
of Madrid and Guadalajara) 5 even though population was 
sparse. There is indisputable evidence that the meseta has been 
but thinly settled from as long ago as the middle of the second 

3 Pedro Bosch Gimpera, "Los Iberos," Cuadernos de Historia de 
Espana, IX, 7. 

4 A. A. Mendes Correa, "A Lusit&nia pre-romana," Historia de Portu- 
gal I, 105. 

5 Pericot Garcia, La Espana primitiva, p. 68. 



millenium B.C. to the present," and there is no reason to believe 
that earlier inhabitants either were more numerous or were 
lacking. It is reasonable to assume that the ancient ways of the 
Lower Paleolithic Period were continued by a thinly spread 
population, except where thrusts were made into the interior 
by the peoples of more advanced cultures from the northern 
and the Mediterranean fringes. This was the case in the west of 
the peninsula, where even such thrusts as those of the hunters 
may have been lacking. This land-end area was largely unaf- 
fected by changes taking place elsewhere in the peninsula. The 
record of the Upper Paleolithic is scanty; in Portugal there is 
very little to be so identified. Techniques of the Lower Paleo- 
lithic continued there, while migrants from northern and 
Central Europe and from Africa were bringing Upper Paleo- 
lithic techniques into the northeast and the southeast of present 
Spain, 7 


It was toward the end of the Paleolithic Period that the west 
was drawn into a larger Iberian culture area by an intrusive 
ethnic wave of southern origin. 


The evidence for this change is found at Muge, a site on the 
Tejo River about thirty miles northeast of Lisbon, where large 
shell mounds of the transition stage between the Old and the 
New Stone ages have been excavated and studied. The skele- 
tons revealed are those of men of short stature and long heads, 
very similar to those of the Natufians of Mount Carmel and 
also closely similar to those of the Carthaginians, Libyans, and 

G Juan Maluquer de Motes, "Los Pueblos de la Espana celtica," 
Historia de Espana, Tomo I, Vol. Ill, Pt. 1, 10. 

7 Mendes Correa, "A Lusitania pre-romana," Historia de Portugal, I, 



Phoenicians." This offshoot of a culture area stretching from 
western Asia across north Africa came into Iberia at the end 
of the Glacial Period, when modern climatic conditions were 
being established. Magdalenian hunters were either withdraw- 
ing northward or were being eliminated, due to the lack of the 
game upon which they had fed. 9 At Muge, Epipaleolithic 
people lived within reach of the tide, where their food was to 
be had/ making their characteristic small geometric flints, un- 
til they were overwhelmed by subsequent migrants. There is 
no satisfactory agreement as to how this elimination took place. 
Guiart 11 believes that the Muge people were pushed to the 
north, to become part of the stock of the present province of 
Beira. Mendes Correa believes that it was a north European 
stock that eliminated or absorbed them. 12 


In northern Iberia at approximately the time of the pros- 
perity at Muge another Epipaleolithic group, the Asturian, 
dominated a narrow coastal band fronting on the Atlantic from 
Bayonne, in southwest France, to the area at the mouth of the 

8 Jules Guiart, "Anthropologie des populations dolichocephales de 
FEurope Meridionale et de TAfrique Septentrionale," Congresso do 
Mundo Portugues, XVII, 374. 

9 Mendes Correa, "A Lusitania pre-romana," Historia de Portugal, I, 

10 The Lutraria compresa upon which they subsisted is not found 
beyond tidal range. As the tide now does not reach within twenty miles 
of this area, it is obvious that there has been a change. Perhaps the land 
has risen in the ten thousand years since the culture flourished. Ibid., p. 
107, Julio Martinez Santa-Olalla (Esquema paletnologico de la Peninsula 
Hispdnica, p. 48) would shorten the time span to from six thousand to 
eight thousand years. Or perhaps sedimentation has altered the area 
in such fashion that the water is now fresh. See J. Carrington da Costa, 
"Evolucao do meio geografico na Pre-historia de Portugal," Congresso do 
Mundo Portugues^ I, 50. 

11 Guiart, "Anthropologie des populations dolichocephales," Congresso 
do Mundo Portugues, XVII, 384. 

12 Mendes Correa, "A Lusitania pre-romana," Historia de Portugal, I, 



Douro River in Portugal. 13 These Asturians found their living 
along the sea-edge by prying shellfish from the rocks with 
hand-axes, made by chipping the ends of water-worn cobbles. 
That they were not the same people as those of Muge is evi- 
dent from the fact that at Muge the hand-axes of the Asturians 
were lacking. Nor were they Magdalenians, at least not those 
of the great hunting and painting stage. They may have repre- 
sented a pauperized remnant of Magdalenians, or they may 
have represented a continuing remnant of a substratum of 
Lower Paleolithic stock which had been overlaid by Magda- 
lenian culture. 14 Or they may have represented a transition 
culture between the Paleolithic and the Neolithic, 15 perhaps a 
transition between the cultures of the north and the south. 


During the period of time in which the Asturian culture 
flourished in the north, peoples of the Neolithic entered and 
developed their culture along the Mediterranean coast of 
Iberia. 10 In its early years this culture clearly showed influences 
of the makers of the small geometric flints, but pottery makers 
and agriculturists were at work, and other Neolithic influences 
from the eastern Mediterranean were increasingly evident, 
coming both by land through North Africa and by sea along 
the Mediterranean. This culture, having strong African traits, 
with a pastoral base but also with rudimentary farming, af- 

13 Probably slightly later than the period of settlement at Muge. See 
Martinez Santa-Olalla, Esquema paletnologico, p. 49; Caro, Los Pueblos 
del Norte, p. 40; Abel Viana, "Os Problemas do Asturiense Portugues," 
Congresso do Mundo Portugues, V, 170; Hermann Lautensach, "Die 
diluviale Umwelt des Menschen in Portugal," Congresso do Mundo 
Portugues, XVIII, 748-749. 

14 Pericot Garcia, Las Raices de Espana, p. 27. 

15 Mendes Correa, "A Lusitania pre-romana," Historia de Portugal, I, 

16 According to Pericot Garcia (La Espana primitiva, p. 112) the 
Neolithic phenomena started about 5000 B.C. The full Neolithic in Spain 
may be dated from 3500 to 2000 B.C. Martinez Santa-Olalla, Esquema 
paletnologico, p. 53. 



fected a large part, perhaps all, of the peninsula. It was, 
however, chiefly along the Mediterranean coasts that it was 
important. 17 Again Portugal remained largely to one side of the 
stream of events, showing nothing more than a slight infiltra- 
tion of elements of the more advanced culture. Discoveries 
there of the early and even of the full Neolithic are few. 18 


At the beginning of the third millennium B.C., the Metal Age 
came to Iberia through the migration of a Saharan group, 
which established itself in the area of present Almeria. This 
culture complex included from the outset articles of copper, 
especially a large number of weapons. 19 Almeria culture spread 
into Andalusia on the one side, and into the valley of the lower 
Ebro River on the other. It may have been the foundation of 
what later became known to the Greeks as Iberian culture. At 
least from that time onward, in this area there is no evidence 
of any ethnic change of importance until the time of the first 
historical record, when the Greeks encountered the Iberian 
Tartessians and other littoral peoples of the south of the penin- 
sula. 20 Obviously this does not prove direct connection and 
lineal descent of the Iberians from the Almerians, but as 
Mendes Correa points out, the assumption is not unreasonable 
even though there is no direct evidence. 21 

, pp. 53-54. 

18 Mendes Correa, "A LusMnia pre-romana," Historia de Portugal, I, 

19 Alberto del Castillo, "El Neoeneolitico," Historic, de Espana, Tomo I, 
Vol. I, Pt. 4, 523, 571. 

20 Bosch Gimpera, "Los Iberos," Cuadernos de Historia de Espana, IX, 
6; Hugo Obermaier and Antonio Garcia y Bellido in El Hombre pre- 
historico y los origenes de la humanidad, pp. 258-259; Juan Maluquer 
de Motes, "Pueblos Ibericos," Historia de Espana, Tomo I, Vol. Ill, 306. 

21 Mendes Correa, "A Lusitfoiia pre-romana/* Historia de Portugal, I, 




About a thousand years after the appearance of Almeria 
people, came the dramatic appearance of great stone burial 
structures. Many authors refer to a Megalithic culture, but as 
Pericot has pointed out, in view of its distribution and of the 
diverse peoples and cultures involved e.g., the herders of the 
Cantabrians and Pyrenees as well as the agriculturists of the 
Guadalquivir valley it can hardly be called a culture. It is 
better to refer to the Megalithic phenomena. 22 This cult use of 
great monoliths with capstones for burials, called dolmens 
(from two Breton words meaning "stone" and "table"), in- 
volves thousands of such structures and brings western Iberia 
to the center of the stage for the first time. There are especially 
great numbers of them in northern Portugal where their con- 
struction probably spanned a period of time from the late 
Neolithic Age into the Bronze Age. 23 It is argued by many 
Spanish and Portuguese scholars that their point of origin is to 
be sought within the Iberian. Peninsula. 24 If concentration of 
numbers is the basis of decision this argument is a strong one. 
However, it ignores the existence of far older Neolithic dolmens 

22 Pericot Garcia, La Espana primitiua, p. 144, 

- 3 Mendes Correa, "A Lusitania pre-romana," Historia de Portugal, I, 

- 4 The phenomena were widespread. But from where did the idea 
come? One finds proponents for theories of origin for any of the countries 
from Portugal to those of the eastern Mediterranean. Mendes Correa ("A 
Lusitania pre-romana," Historia de Portugal, I, 140) suggests that it 
might have been Portugal. Oberrnaier and Garcia y Bellido (El H ombre 
prehistorico, p. 174) agree fundamentally with him. Martinez Santa- 
Olalla (Esquema paletnologico, p. 59) points to southeast Spain. Bosch 
Gimpera says ("Los Iberos," Cuadernos de Historia de Espana, IX, 14) 
that the Megalithic culture in Portugal owed its origins to an indigenous 
non-Capsian culture but with Capsian infiltrations from the south, Anda- 
lusia, and the mesetas of Spain, this mixture constituting the basis of the 
pre-Celtic indigenous population of Portugal which appeared later as the 
historical Lusitanians. Pericot suggests (La Espana primitiva, p. 146) 
that the idea of the Megalithic tomb was introduced into Iberia in simple 
form, perhaps in several places, and in these different places took its 
diverse forms. Carleton Coon expresses the idea (The Races of Europe, 
p. 490) that the phenomena were the result of the spread by maritime 



of Palestine, apparently built in imitation of earlier habita- 
tions. 25 Whatever may have been the place of origin, certainly 
the development of the cult seems to have been of basic im- 
portance in Iberia, from where certain local features spread to 
northern Europe on the one side and along the Mediterranean 
on the other. 26 

Toward the end of the Bronze Age another feature, almost 
surely of Andalusian derivation, the campaniform vase, spread 
widely throughout Europe. 27 This source of contact, as well as 
those of the cult associated with the dolmens, created a bond 
and an interchange between the peoples of Iberia (including 
Portugal, which so frequently has stood out of touch with 
European developments ) and wide areas of the rest of Europe, 
as well as with the eastern Mediterranean shores. Whether the 
dolmens originated in Portugal, Spain, or elsewhere, is less im- 
portant here than the fact of the obviously important contact 
between western Iberia and the world of Europe and western 
Asia during the early Bronze Age. 

In southern Portugal, as a variation upon the sepulchral 
structures of the other Portuguese Megalithic, there developed 
a special type of dolmen, named for the site of Alcala and hence 
called Alcalar. Instead of monoliths supporting the great slab 
on top, pillars were made of small stones, either fitted or 
cemented together. The precise dating of these dolmens can 
not be given. They may have been coexistent with those of the 
middle and the north of Portugal, or they may have developed 
later, representing a continuation of the traits of the early 
Bronze Age into a period of time when much of the remainder 

25 W. F. Albright, The Archaeology of Palestine, Penguin Books, p. 64. 
Pericot (La Espana primitiva 3 p. 146) favors the idea of eastern origin. 

26 The simple architecture of present North Portugal is strongly 
reminiscent of that of the dolrnenic period. 

27 For the European distribution, see Obermaier and Garcia y Bellido, 
El H ombre prehistorico, p. 171. The campaniform vase, presumably of 
Andalusian derivation, has been found in many Portuguese sites, al- 
though, strangely, not in the Algarve, the adjacent Portuguese area 
usually thought to be culturally closest to Andalusia, and but few in the 
Alentejo. Mendes Correa, "A Lusit&nia pre-romana," Historic de Portugal, 
I, 130. 



of the peninsula was far more advanced in the use of metals 
and in agricultural techniques. 


Actually, it is not always possible to speak positively in the 
comparison of peninsular regions and the time of their de- 
velopment. Throughout Iberia the problems of chronology and 
sequence are great. At various periods of time there have been 
cultures of greatly differing stages existing near each other. For 
example, in the later Bronze Age of other Western European 
countries much of Portugal remained in the stage in which 
copper was dominant. It did not really take part in the full 
Bronze Age developments. In fact, in Portugal there is a notable 
hiatus in the record between early Bronze Age developments 
and those of the second Iron Age, the latter intrusive from 
Central Europe and taking root among early Bronze Age cul- 
tures. Such unconformity does not exist through most of the 
rest of Iberia. 28 For example, in Spain the period of dolmenic 
phenomena was also one of a flourishing agriculture, as well as 
one of an increasing use of metals. 29 Portugal, the site of great 
energy in the construction and elaboration of the structures 
themselves, did not keep pace in other respects with the 
neighboring parts of the peninsula. Portugal not only lagged 
in the use of metals, but probably in the advancement in agri- 
culture. Barley at least was cultivated, 30 but there is no evi- 
dence to show that agricultural development in general was 
anything but meagre. 


Portugal lost subsequently even the energy of its period of 
dolmen construction and then drifted into what seems to have 

28 Mendes Correa, "A Lusitania pre-romana," Historia de Portugal, I, 

29 Martinez Santa-Olalla, Esquema paletnologico, pp. 59-60. 

30 Jorge Bias, Os Arados Portugueses e as suas provdveis origens, p, 92. 



been a cultural backwater. It scarcely took part In the splendid, 
basically Mediterranean culture, the Argaric, which brilliantly 
developed techniques in the use of silver, copper, and bronze. 
This culture, named for the site of El Argar in southeast Spain, 
spread into southern and northeastern Spain and even into the 
Balearic Islands, but in Portugal only into the Algarve. 01 Al- 
though Portugal gained very little from these developments 
which took place elsewhere in the peninsula, she did contribute 
raw materials to them. Such middle and late Bronze Age finds 
as have been made in Portugal are all related to the distribu- 
tion of metals. During the period of Argaric culture, the copper 
of South Portugal was exploited. In a later period of the 
Bronze Age the tin of North Portugal became important. The 
south, with most of the copper deposits of Portugal, and the 
north, with most of the tin, have yielded remains of Bronze 
Age axes, whereas the Center, lacking for the most part both 
of these metals, is almost entirely devoid of the ax remains. 
However, none of the finds later than those of the dolmenic 
period suggest local developments or inventions. All indicate 
that they were of foreign provenience and that they were in- 
trusive into an otherwise little changed older culture. 32 

31 It probably did not spread beyond the Algarve in Portugal, although 
there have been isolated finds in the Alentejo. Mendes Correa, "A Lusi- 
tania pre-romana," Historia de Portugal, I, 148; Bosch Gimpera, "Los 
Iberos," Cuadernos de Historia de Espana, IX, 42, 44. 

Bosch Gimpera, "Los Iberos," Cuadernos de Historia de Espana, IX, 
43) dates it 1900-1200 B.C. Martinez Santa-OlaUa, on the other hand, 
shortens the span (Esquema paletnologico, p. 61); his dates are 1500- 
1200 B.C. 

32 Mendes Correa, "A Lusitania pre-romana," Historia de Portugal, I, 


Early Central European Influences 
in Iberia 


EAR THE END of the second millennium B.C. great 
cultural changes took place in Iberia, but how and 
by whom is still an open question. Traces of Central 
f WWV 1 European bronze culture first appeared in the north, 
and presumably not long after that introduction the first Indo- 
Europeans arrived. The first Celts may have arrived by 900 B.C., 
bringing small groups of Germans with them. Such is the belief 
of Bosch Gimpera. 1 But his is not the only theory regarding 
the immigrants. Julio Martinez Santa-Olalla thinks that the 
earliest Indo-Europeans were pre-Celtic Bronze Age people 
who arrived in Iberia about the year 1000 B.C. and were fol- 
lowed by other Bronze Age, pre-Celtic Indo-Europeans, the 
Urnfields people. 2 Almagro finds it difficult to distinguish be- 

1 Pedro Bosch Gimpera, "Two Celtic Waves in Spain 77 (Sir John Rhys 
Memorial Lecture of November 8, 1939), Proceedings of the British 
Academy, XXVI (1940), 29. 

2 Julio Martinez Santa-Olalla, Esquema paletnologico de la Peninsula 
Hispdnica (2nd ed.), pp. 62-68, 78-79. 



tween Urnfields, Ligurian, Illyrian, and Celt, and suggests that 
after 800 B.C. the Indo-European peoples filtered into Iberia 
throughout a considerable period of time and that they were 
essentially of the same stock. 3 Pericot cautiously inclines to the 
belief that there were numerous peoples entering Iberia after 
900 B.C., differing considerably from each other but ultimately 
dominated by Goidelic Celt culture. 4 Maluquer suggests greater 
complexity, the first Celts entering by the eighth century at the 
latest, but perhaps considerably before that date. 5 

The above data, seemingly contradictory, are not presented 
pointlessly. They indicate fairly well the present state of inde- 
cision or at least lack of firm knowledge concerning the 
migrations of the Indo-Europeans into western Europe. Fur- 
thermore, they are not completely at sixes-and-sevens. It is to 
be noted that all of the authors cited point to the movement 
of Central European peoples into Iberia during the late Bronze 
Age. Whether such migrants are to be identified as Celt or 
pre-Celt may be secondary to the fact of their place of origin. 
One other fact must be kept in mind, however; these earliest 
Indo-Europeans, Celt or not, were not acquainted with the use 
of iron. This metal was no doubt introduced into Iberia by 
Celts, but so far there is no reason to reject the traditional belief 
that its introduction is to be credited to the Goidelic Celts of 
the seventh century. 6 By the middle of that century iron was 
in common use in Catalonia, 7 but so far there have been no 
earlier data established for its use in Iberia. 


But who were the Celts, what kind of culture did they have, 
and what were the areas of Iberia affected by them? These are 

3 Martin Almagro, "La Invasion Celtica en Espana," Historia de 
Espana, Tomo I, Vol. II, 262-272. 

4 Luis Pericot Garcia, Las Raices de Espana, pp. 47, 50. 

5 Juan Maluquer de Motes, "Los Pueblos de la Espafia celtica," His- 
toria de Espana, Tomo I, Vol. Ill, Ft 1, 135. 

6 Julio Caro Baroja, Los Pueblos de Espafia, p. 94. 

7 Martinez Santa-Olalla, Esquema paletnologico, p. 78. 



questions of fundamental importance in the historical geogra- 
phy of Iberia, which are again, after a period of neglect, being 
investigated by Iberian scholars. 8 That early Celts entered the 
peninsula through the western passes of the Pyrenees and that 
they left a strong impress upon the north of Iberia is beyond 
doubt. However, there are gaps to be explained. For example, 
in the present Spanish provinces of Vizcaya, Guipuzcoa, and 
Navarra, there is no record of Celtic dominance. Yet Celts did 
find their way through this presently largely Basque area. It 
seems that the local population and culture were sufficiently 
strong to resist, and finally to absorb and transform them. 9 
Farther to the west, however, there was a different situation. 
In many parts of Alava, Santander, Leon, and Asturias, Celts 
either displaced or dominated the older stocks of people. 10 Still 
farther west, especially in present northwest Portugal and 
Galicia, they settled in numbers among, and blended with, a 
firmly rooted farm population one made up of earlier farmers 
from Central Europe (probably including some of Germanic 
stock) and primitive, metal-using farmers harking back in their 
ancestry to the Megalithic Period of the early Bronze Age. 11 

The extent of Celtic spread in Iberia is still argued, but as 
time and linguistic inquiry go on, much is being added to our 

8 The Celtic question in Iberia has had periods of both attention and 
neglect. Early culture historians focused great attention upon them, but 
following upon that period of interest there was a period of neglect, when 
enthusiasm for the culture of the Iberians of the Mediterranean coasts 
eclipsed everything else. Only in the last quarter century has there been 
a renewed interest and enthusiasm for Celtic culture and its effect upon 
the Iberian peninsula. Now, indeed, the problem is considered with an 
enthusiasm that goes to extremes which may counterbalance earlier neg- 
lect but which hardly conduces to balanced judgment. Fortunately the 
men most greatly concerned, realizing the danger of the situation, are 
tempering enthusiasm with moderation. See Pericot Garcia, Las Raices de 
Espana, pp, 47-48. 

9 Bosch Girnpera, "Two Celtic Waves," p. 109. 

10 Julio Caro Baroja, Los Pueblos del Norte de la Peninsula Iberica, p. 
213. Many provinces of present Spain, such as Alava, Santander, and 
Leon, bear the name of the most important city of the region. In such 
cases, to avoid crowding on the place-name map, only the city is identified, 

11 Maluquer, "Los Pueblos de la Espana celtica," Historia de Espafia, 
Tomo I, Vol. Ill, Pt. 1, 10, 12, 77-79, 179, 



knowledge of the matter. Probably Celtic tongues spread from 
southern France throughout most of the north of Iberia and on 
the west extended southward to include the Lusitanians of 
central Portugal. 12 They probably predominated in the interior 
of the peninsula prior to the Roman advent. 13 In some areas 
they reached the Mediterranean coasts, 14 and long before the 
Roman entry probably soon after the arrival of the first iron- 
using Celts connections had been re-established between the 
peninsula, plus western France, and the British Isles. 


The Celts came into Iberia with their families, flocks, and 
wagons and it is not without interest that the type of Central 
European wagon that they introduced is still used in Galicia 
and Asturias. 15 In their economy they represented a continua- 
tion of the Bronze Age cultures of western Germany. 16 They 
were agriculturists certainly, but also pastoralists. It is difficult 
to determine which type of economy was dominant. Possibly 
stock-raising was more important than farming, as in the case 

12 Caro Baroja, Pueblos del Norte, pp. 82-84; Adolfo Schulten, Historia 
de Numancia, p. 21. 

13 Caro Baroja, Pueblos del Norte, pp. 82-85; Maluquer, "Los Pueblos 
de la Espana celtica," Historic, de Espana, Tomo I, Vol. Ill, Pt. 1, 10. 

14 Maluquer, "Los Pueblos de la Espana celtica," Historia de Espana, 
Tomo I, Vol. Ill, Pt. 1, 9; Antonio Garcia y Bellido, La Peninsula Ib erica 
en los comienzos de su historia, p. 58. 

15 Maluquer, "Los Pueblos de la Espana celtica," Historia de Espana, 
Tomo I, Vol. III ? Pt. 1, 171. 

The carro chillon (or chirrion), typically with the axle firmly attached 
to and turning with the wheels, is certainly not Roman. See Fritz Kriiger, 
El Lexico rural del noroeste Iberico, p. 47. Caro Baroja (Pueblos del 
Norte, pp. 144-149 and map) says that it is pre-Indo-European. Its 
historical distribution is that of the northern and western peripheries, 
the lands of pre-Celtic farmers and herders, with only limited extensions 
into the edges of the meseta. See Krtiger, El Lexico rural del noroeste 
Iberico, pp. 46-47. Also see Luis de Hoyos Sainz and Nieves de Hoyos 
Sancho, Manual de Folklore, pp. 436-437. 

16 Jorge Bias, Os Arados Portugueses e as suas provdveis origens, p. 
101; Maluquer, "Los Pueblos de la Espana celtica," Historia de Espana, 
Tomo I, Vol. Ill, Pt. 1, 11. 


A Verraco in Ciudad Rodrigo 

of the Neolithic communities of northern Europe. 17 In the 
northern forests of Iberia there was an abundance of everything 
necessary for their animals beech mast and acorns for pigs, 
and food for horses, cattle, sheep, and goats. 18 Interesting evi- 
dence of the importance of herding in northwest Iberia is found 
in the large number of so-called verracos, testifying to the great 
importance ascribed to certain animals, especially pigs. 19 The 
region of these granite sculptures centers in the Spanish 
provinces of Avila, Salamanca, and Zamora. From there the 
sculptures crude, if you will, but so then is modern abstract 
sculpture spread into the adjacent areas of North Portugal 
and to some extent into Galicia. The earliest examples are prob- 
ably to be credited to sixth-century Celts, 20 but the highest 

17 Grahame Clarke, "Farmers and Forests in Neolithic Europe/* Antiq- 
uity, XIX, No. 74 (June, 1945), 67. 

18 Ibid., p. 70. 

19 Jesus Taboada, "La Cultura de los verracos en el noroeste hispanico," 
Cuadernos de Estudios Gallegos, IV, No. 12 (1949), 15; Maluquer, "Los 
Pueblos de la Espafia celtica," Historia de Espana, Tomo I, Vol. Ill, Pt. 
1, 25. 

20 Taboada, "La Cultura de los verracos . . . ," Cuadernos de Estudios 
Gallegos, IV, No. 12 (1949), 17. 



development of the work was accomplished by later Celts, 
probably between the fourth century B.C. and the first century 

The veneration of the animal did not preclude the enjoyment 
of its flesh. At about the beginning of the Christian era, Strabo 
spoke of Cantabria (mountainous northern Iberia) as being 
an area of fine hams, 22 and Varro said that "it was asserted that 
once when a pig had been killed in Lusitania (present Middle 
Portugal) there was sent as a present to a senator two ribs with 
meat attached which weighed twenty-three pounds, and that 
in the pig the depth of flesh from skin to bone was one and a 
quarter feet." 23 That the veneration of animals was not unique 
to Iberian environment is shown by the fact that Irish Celts 
kept sacred cattle, and "royal" oxen, swine and sheep. 24 


Northern and northwestern Iberia was wonderfully suited 
to the tastes of the Celts and to those of their herds of pigs, 
sheep, cattle, 25 and goats. 26 Men here could pursue the male 
tasks of herding, fighting, and hunting, and as these are rainy 
lands of mild weather, women could cultivate wheat for 
bread, 27 barley for beer, 28 and flax for textiles, 29 with the 

21 Maluquer, "Los Pueblos de la Espana celtica," Historic de Espana 
Tomo I, Vol. Ill, Pt. 1, 120, 138. 

22 Caro Baroja, Pueblos del Norte, p. 26. 

23 M. T. Varro on Farming, trans, by Lloyd Storr-Best, p. 172. 

24 R. A. S. Macalister, Tara, a Pagan Sanctuary of Ancient Ireland, p. 
124. See also Christopher and Jacquetta Hawks, Prehistoric Britain, 
Pelican Books, p. 135. 

25 Maluquer, "Los Pueblos de la Espana celtica," Historia de Espana, 
Tomo I, Vol. Ill, Pt. 1, 176, 183. 

20 Strabo reported that in this area goat's meat was eaten by preference. 
Caro Baroja, Pueblos del Norte, p. 46. 

27 Maluquer., "Los Pueblos de la Espana celtica," Historia de Espana, 
Tomo I, Vol. Ill, Pt. 1, 99, 172. 

28 Barley and beer were old in the region at the time of Strabo. See 
Caro Baroja, Pueblos del Norte, p. 44. 

29 Maluquer, "Los Pueblos de la Espana celtica," Historia de Espana, 
Tomo I, Vol. Ill, Pt. 1, 172, 176. In Europe specialized hunting (highly 
disciplined and in large bands) had passed out of existence prior to the 



gathering of nuts and fruits as a supplementary means of pro- 
viding food. Actually, farming may well have been more im- 
portant than it would seem from the records. It is possible that 
the simple activities, especially of women, in this patriarchal 
society may have received less notice than they deserved. It is 
of interest to observe that the Irish branch of these peoples 
convened their assemblies to coincide with the critical days in 
the agricultural year. 30 Or, indeed, it may be possible that the 
men were more involved than the record shows. When the 
Celts came into Iberia they brought with them their plow, al- 
though it was not everywhere used. ai There can be little doubt, 
in view of the universal association of plows and males, that 
men were to some degree involved in planting, but the dis- 
tribution of the use of the plow indicates that the association 
of males with agriculture was either casual or that they were 
easily dissuaded from it. For example, there was probably 
no plow used in North Portugal prior to the advent of the 
Romans. 32 This situation can probably be explained by the fact 
that this northwest area preserved strong matrilineal rem- 
nants. 33 Here, men considered farming unmanly and woman's 
work. 34 Nor is this difficult to understand (given their back- 
period about which we are writing. However, hunting by individuals 
and sometimes by small groups was common. In no sense was it the 
fundamental basis of life but always a supplement to the dietary. 

Something the same can be said of gathering. None of the Europeans 
of that time were fully dependent upon gathering in the sense in which 
some of our primitive contemporaries depend. However, there is no 
doubt that the women gathered nuts, fruits, greens, and perhaps many 
other foods as a standard part of their domestic occupation. 

30 Macalister, Tara, p. 155. 

31 Caro Baroja, Pueblos del Norte, p. 211. See also Julio Caro Baroja, 
"Los Arados espanoles, sus tipos y reparticion," Revista de Dialectologia 
y Tradidones populares, V, No. 1 (1949), 93, 94, and Figures 15 and 
17; Julio Caro Baroja, "La Vida agraria tradicional reflejada en el arte 
Espanol," Estudios de Historia Social de Espana, I (1949), 92-94; and 
Maluquer, "Los Pueblos de la Espana celtica," Historia de Espana, Tomo 
I, Vol. Ill, Pt. 1, 171. 

32 Dias, Arados, pp. 103, 107. 

33 Caro Baroja, Pueblos del Norte, p. 205. 

34 Maluquer, "Los Pueblos de la Espana celtica," Historia de Espana, 
Tomo I, Vol. Ill, Pt. 1, 72. 



ground), for it should not be overlooked that in the hilly north- 
west, where people lived on the uplands, the plow was'of little 
use. Until the Romans put men to work on the valley lands 
where plows were serviceable, the area, reasonably enough, 
remained an area of hoe farming. 35 

Nevertheless, parts of Iberia were exploited by men with 
plows. The Vacceos, living along the middle course of the 
Duero River and also occupying the area to the north around 
the present cities of Zamora, Valladolid, and Palencia, were 
skilled grain farmers using plows. 36 Large quantities of wheat 
were harvested, especially around Palencia, at the time of the 
Celtiberian war. 37 It is true, however, that the Vacceos were 
Celtiberians of late entry into the peninsula. They came es- 
pecially late into the west, where they were in the act of appro- 
priating lands from earlier Celtic settlers at the time of the 
Roman conquest. 38 It happens that this area can be equated 
with the zone of "dry and intermediate calcareous soils" shown 
on the map of Del Villar. 39 They are approximately rendzinas 
and are now considered to be one of the really excellent soils 
for cereals. 40 So the question might well be raised as to whether 
the Vacceos, admittedly plow-and-grain farmers, would have 
taken precisely this area, so fitting to their desires, if it had not 
been previously demonstrated to be desirable for use with their 

The Vacceos were an interesting people from another point of 
view. They were organized into a firmly controlled collectivist 
society. At the time of the grain harvest, division was made 
officially and equally and the death penalty was exacted for 
holding out any of the grain from the collective pool. 41 It seems 
that neither the Romans, nor their successors in authority 
over this part of Iberia, destroyed the traditions of community 

35 Ibid., p. 170. 36 Jorge Dias, Rio de Onor, p. 60. 

37 Caro Baroja, Pueblos del Norte, p. 215. 

38 Maluquer, "Los Pueblos de la Espana celtica," Historia de Espana., 
Tomo I, Vol. Ill, Pt. 1, 24. 

39 Emilio H. del Villar, Los Suelos de la Peninsula Luso-Iberica (map). 

40 Raymond E. Storie, personal statement. 

41 Caro Baroja, Pueblos del Norte, p. 45. 



effort ( and perhaps the Germanic Swabians strengthened them 
again), for there are many parts of remote, mountainous Portu- 
gal and northwestern Spain where such practices are continued 
today attenuated, but still fundamental to the economy. 42 

In the northern mountains, there may have been a primitive 
combination of herding, farming, hunting, and gathering, with- 
out particular accent upon one or the other. Strabo, a Medi- 
terranean, was struck by the fact that these people lacked olive 
oil and in place of it used butter or at least he is translated 
to have said this. However, it seems possible that it was not 
butter, for there is no positive evidence of milch cows in the 
area, and the grease used may have been that of the pig. 4:l In 
either case there was a dependence upon animal fat. 

Gathering seems to have had considerable importance; 14 
Strabo reported that the northern people depended upon 
acorns for their food during three quarters of the year; but 
probably he exaggerated the importance of the acorn and neg- 
lected that of chestnuts, for the great forests of edible chest- 
nuts in this area have been eliminated only during the last few 
generations. In the nineteenth century they still flourished and 
were an important source of food. 45 

* 2 Dias, Rio de Onor, pp. 20, 28, 63. I have oversimplified the problem 
in my statement. There are various and greatly differing opinions as to 
the origins of collectivism in Iberia. Maluquer ("Los Pueblos de la 
Espana celtica . . . /* pp. 94, 170) states his belief that such collective 
economy may be a typical expression of the organization of a migrating 
group. This contention is hard to accept in view of the persistence of 
collective practices among the anciently rooted people in the present 
northwest of Spain and North Portugal. Mendes Correa (Raizes de 
Portugal, pp. 73-74) has called attention to the strong collective organi- 
zation of the Megalithic culture groups. A further view is that of some 
Spanish medievalists, who now think that such organization is likely to 
be of medieval provenience, Orlando Ribeiro in "Villages et communautcs 
rurales au Portugal," BiUos, XVI (1940), Tomo II, 420-421, shows how 
collective systems in Tras-os-Montes hark back to pre-Roman times and 
attributes them to necessary arrangements in a grain-pasturage-fallow 

43 Caro Baroja, Pueblos del Norte, p. 46. 

44 Loc. cit. 

45 Alberto Sampaio, "As Vilas do Norte de Portugal," Estudos historicos 
e economicos, I, Pt. 1, 28. 





The difference between Celtic culture, as commonly con- 
sidered, and that of the earlier settlers is partly of degree and 
partly of kind. The Celts had a background of culture not dis- 
similar to that of some of the inhabitants encountered upon 
their entry into that peninsula. 46 Similar background and tastes 
may have allowed them to settle among the indigenous groups 
in amity and cooperation, but we do not know this as a fact. 

They may have pushed in by force, but in view of the dis- 
parity between Celtic tribes it is probable that the situation 
varied according to time, place, and tribe. The Celts of the 
seventh century B.C. knew iron and were fighters. Their pos- 
session of superior weapons and their propensity for battle may 
have resulted in the forcible eviction of earlier peoples from 
parts of Iberia. Some authors maintain that the sword should 
be considered the badge of these Celts, that aggression was 
their preference, and that the large number of fortified settle- 
ments used by them in strategic locations supports this thesis. 47 
Such authors are apt to credit to the Celts, both in origin as 
well as in later development, the predominantly Portuguese 
hilltop fort settlements known as castros and citdnias* 8 There 
can be no doubt at all that castros were greatly elaborated by 
the Celts in the centuries just before the birth of Christ and 
that some of them during that time were converted into real 
fortified cities. 49 

40 Maluquer, "Los Pueblos de la Espana celtiea," Historia de Espana, 
Tomo I, Vol. Ill, Pt. 1, 11. 

47 Martinez Santa-Olalla, Esquema paletnologico, p. 79; Bias, Arados, 
p. 99. 

48 Some authors distinguish between a castro and a citdnia, saying that 
the former was merely a fort and the latter both a fort and a place of 
settlement. This distinction, according to an eminent authority on the 
matter, has no value, since there is increasing evidence that all such 
structures were used as settlements. See Mario Cardozo, Citdnia e 
Sabroso, pp. 9-10. 

49 Martinez Santa-Olalla, Esquema paletnologico, p. 103; Taboada, 
"La Cultura de los verracos en el noroeste hispanico," Cuadernos de 




However, there is strong evidence adduced to support the 
belief that the castros were pre-Celtic, for the quality and style 
of the castro seems to indicate an origin out of the remote past 
of Portugal itself. In all periods they were rude and showed a 
continuation of archaic forms. The pottery associated with 
them was often virtually the same as that of the earliest period 
of the Bronze Age. 50 It may be of importance to observe that 
the castro area of concentration in Iberia is approximately that 
of the earlier area of dolmens in the peninsula, 51 that is, an area 
with a strong Megalithic tradition, where the knowledge of 
stone working is age-old, 52 and where the curved structure is 
of ancient tradition. 53 Although castros were of a variety of 

Estudios Gallegos, IV, No. 12 (1949), 26; Maluquer, "Los Pueblos de la 
Espana celtica," Historia de Espana, Tomo I, Vol. Ill, Pt. 1, 15. 

The development of large fortified cities here, however, did not involve 
cultural improvements in other respects. The area is known to anthro- 
pologists as one in which there was a continuance of early ways, in which 
there was a prolongation of Hallstatt type culture generally, and in which 
La Tene items were rare, as the connections with south and east Iberia 
remained tenuous until the time of the Roman conquest. See A. A. Mendes 
Correa, "A Lusit&nia pre-romana," Historia de Portugal, I, 174, 181. 

50 Mendes Correa, "A Lusitania pre-romana . . . ," pp. 181-182. 

51 A. de Amorim Girao, Geografia de Portugal, maps, pp. 214-216. 

52 It is far from lost. In the Minho today props for grape trellises are 
hewn from granite an unlikely material for such a purpose. 

53 Maluquer, "Los Pueblos de la Espana celtica," Historia de Espana, 
Tomo I, Vol. Ill, Pt. 1, 50. This is in keeping with the thought of 
Richthofen that circular structures were pre-Celtic and non-Indo-Euro- 
pean (Antonio Jorge Dias, "Las Construcciones circulares del Noroeste 
de la Peninsula Iberica y las citanias," Cuadernos de Estudios Gallegos, 
VI (1946), p. 176, and with Dr. Edwin Loeb, who argues that circular 
structures probably originated with Hamitic peoples (personal statement) . 

Another point of view is that of Florentine Lopez Cuevillas and Joaquin 
Lorenzo Fernandez ("Las Habitaciones de los Castros," Cuadernos de 
Estudios Gallegos, II, Nos. 5-7 [1946-1947], 7-74. See particularly pp. 
10, 30, and 62-63), who argue that stone houses in northwest Iberia 
were late and took their form from an earlier native round house, built 
by interlacing branches for the walls and by roofing the structure with 
straw. They point out that, although round nouses were known in Gaul, 
they were so different in other respects that they cannot be compared 
with the structures of northwestern Iberia. Their argument in support of 
the belief in the "petrifaction" of the round cabana of branches is seduc- 



shapes round, elliptical, and some of no simple form but 
with broken lines sharp angles were few and the curve pre- 

In another argument against the Celtic origin of the castro, 
Maluquer points out that the earliest Celtic houses in Iberia 
were not circular, but quadrangular, 54 and Bosch has shown 
that Celtic structures south of the Mondego River were quad- 
rangular. 55 However, it would seem again (as in the case of 
relating one type of economy to a Celtic group and assuming 
that this was the only type of economy to be found among 
Celts in Iberia) that it may be a bootless procedure to try to 
relate one type of house to all Celts. Obviously they used struc- 
tures of a variety of shapes in the northwest of Iberia. This may 
indicate, indeed, what has been suggested above, that the 
Celts, especially the early Celts, were adjustable when they 
entered Iberia not only in the choice of a means of livelihood, 
pastoralism or agriculture, but also in the acceptance of the 
building practices of the local area. The northern Portuguese 
structures may probably be associated in the origin of their 
type with the ancient dolmen area, whereas the rectangular 
structures south of the Mondego River can, perhaps, be asso- 
ciated with a distinct culture area with connections eastward 
into the interior of the peninsula. 56 

tive, but it does not dispose of the authors cited above nor of the ancient 
tradition of masonry in the area. 

54 Maluquer, "Los Pueblos de la Espaiia celtica," Historia de Espana, 
Tomo I, Vol. Ill, Pt. 1, 181. If one wanted to confuse the issue even 
further he might cite Maluquer again (ibid., p. 97), where he states his 
belief that the castros, at least of the verraco area, go back to the early 
Bronze Age and that they were later inhabited by Indo-Europeans. It 
should be noted that these castros of the verraco area at least those that 
have been excavated have rectangular structures quite different in 
general character from the edifices of the North Portuguese-Galician 
castro area (ibid., p. 100). 

55 Bosch Gimpera, "Two Celtic Waves/ 7 p. 80. 

56 Ibid., p. 83. 




The problem of the extent of the spread of Celtic cultures 
might be largely solved if we could be sure as to which of the 
tribes of the peninsula first encountered by Greeks and Romans 
were Celtic, but this is no easy task. It is a matter of confusion 
and disagreement among scholars, all of whom can quote classi- 
cal authors to their own satisfaction. For example, one of our 
best sources of information for early Greek contacts is the 
Ora Maritima, the work of a geographer of the first century 
B.C., which was based upon the geography of Eforos, a work 
composed in the fourth century B.C. Eforos, in turn, had in- 
corporated into his manuscript material from a Massaliote 
narrative of the sixth century B.C., adding data from the period 
subsequent to the time at which the Greek author from Mas- 
salia had written the document. The origin of the information 
can be established, however, as being even earlier than the 
sixth century, for the Greek of Massalia almost surely used 
information from Punic sources antedating his time. In any 
event, the early material is not entirely lost by passing through 
so many hands. 57 In this document it is not clear that the tribes 
of central Portugal and Spain, the Ceinpses and Sefes, were 
Celts; 5S yet Herodotus said that the Celts lived next to the 
Cinesios (usually called Cynetes or Conios) of the Algarve of 
present South Portugal. Aristotle, on the other hand, said that 
they were "above Iberia in a very cold region" (which does 
not suggest Portugal), immediately to the north of the Cinesios. 
Rather, it suggests the interior of Old Castile. Polybius, Strabo, 
and Pliny, as well as many other Romans, said that the Celts 
lived between the Tejo and Guadiana rivers, 59 which would 
bring them more or less in accord with Herodotus. 

57 Casimiro Torres, "Las Kassiterides," Cuadernos de Estudios Gallegos, 
IV (1945), 623. Francisco Jose Velozo (Oestrymnis, pp. 39-40) ex- 
pounds the view, and supports it with considerable evidence, that the 
Or a Maritima was based ultimately upon Punic sources. 

58 Almagro, "La Invasion Celtica en Espafia," Historia de Espana, 
Tomo I, Vol. II, 245. 

59 Mendes Correa, "A Lusitania pre-romana," Historia de Portugal, 
pp. 164-165. 




Modern authorities on the Iberian Peninsula have a tendency 
to expand Celtic culture beyond the limits acceptable a genera- 
tion ago. Bosch Gimpera, Schulten, and Dixon defend the idea 
that the Cempses and Sefes were Celts. 00 Maluquer goes even 
further, stating that not only these peoples, but the Cinesios as 
well, 61 were Celts. Dixon would not quibble with the first part 
of this view, but he believes that the Cynetes ( Cinesios ) were 

If the authorities cannot agree, it may be asked how one can 
use the material in making judgments as to historical geography 
of the area involved. There must be some attempt at clarifica- 
tion, but if one thinks of Celts as being all essentially the same 
and responding to differing environmental conditions always in 
like manner, confusion is hard to dissipate. Understanding may 
be had, however, with the realization that "Celtic" may mean 
a variety of things in terms of economics and social structure. 
It seems probable that classical authorities may have judged 
native tribes and their ethnic associations in terms of language 
and economic practices. 

Among the several groups of Celts, at least three funda- 
mental subdivisions should be made on the basis of language. 
The Goidelic Celts, with Hallstatt techniques, must be kept 
distinct from the Brythonic Celts with their elements of eastern 
grassland culture and the strong admixture of Mediterranean 
traits that came to be associated with Celtic La Tene culture. 62 
A third group, the Belgas, who may be roughly equated with 

(!0 Almagro, "La Invasion Celtica en Espana," Historic de Espana, 
Tomo I, Vol. II, 245; Pierson Dixon, The Iberians of Spain and Their 
Relations with the Aegean World, end map. 

61 Maluquer, "Los Pueblos de la Espana celtica," Historia de Espana, 
Tomo I, Vol. Ill, Pt. 1, 9. 

62 Carleton S. Coon, The Races of Europe, pp. 186-187; Hugo Ober- 
maier and Antonio Garcia y Bellido, El Hombre prehistorico y los origenes 
de la humanidad (2nd ed.), p. 306. 

Tne Iron Age came tardily into Central Europe from the Mediterran- 
ean. However, it was taking clear form in the early part of the first 
millennium B.C. The earliest period is termed "Hallstatt" after the type 



the Celtiberians, must be recognized as distinct from the other 
two. 03 The Belgas were the last of the major groups of Celts 
to find their way into Iberia. For recognition of the special 
qualities of these peoples we are indebted to the work of Malu- 
quer, whose evidence as to their individuality is far more con- 
vincing than the thesis of Schulten that makes the Celtiberians 
merely a mixture of an early Celtic group with Iberians. 04 


All of the above facts make it obvious that there were many 
differences among the Celts.' 15 They were a mixed group ra- 
cially, although dominantly Nordic, and they were mixed cul- 
turally as well. 00 They were both agricultural and pastoral, but 
the emphasis may have been quite different among the various 
groups, for when they entered the Iberian peninsula they were 
still in the formative stage of their culture. Any one of several 
cultural trends might have been chosen. Some were strongly 
influenced by native groups that had been firmly rooted in their 
own areas and had developed well-integrated cultures. 07 Obvi- 
ously, it is equally possible, and perhaps more probable, that 
migrants who were both agricultural and pastoral would have 
made their choice in terms of the place in which they elected 
to settle or which was available to them for settlement. Where 
farming proved to be more profitable, they would concentrate 

site in eastern Austria. Its duration was roughly from 800 to 400 B.C. 

"La Tene/" following the name of a type site in western Switzerland, 
is the name associated with the later Iron Age in Central Europe, which 
developed under frequent and intimate contacts with the Greek world, 
especially through Greek Massalia (Marseilles). It was carried largely by 
Celts and is usually dated as being from 400 B.C. to about the time of 
the birth of Christ. It Was a far more sophisticated culture than that of 

63 Maluquer, "Los Pueblos de la Espana celtica," Historic, de Espana, 
Tomo I, Vol. Ill, Pt. 1, 12. 

04 Schulten, Historic, de Numancia, p. 27. 

05 Maluquer, "Los Pueblos de la Espana celtica," Historia de Espana, 
Tomo I, Vol. Ill, Pt. 1, 13-15. 

60 Ibid., pp. 8, 10. 

67 Pericot Garcia, Las Raices de Espana, p. 51. 



upon it; and where pastoralism was advantageous, this would 
be their emphasis. The Celts that went to the Mediterranean 
region came under Phoenician, Iberian, Greek, and Etruscan 
influences. 68 Those that went to the area of the rainy, green, 
northwestern edge of Iberia, where there were agricultural 
populations in some cases harking back to the Bronze Age, 
settled themselves on the land, raising grains, flax, and animals. 
The meseta, on the other hand, in most parts offered a more 
promising opportunity for herding, and this occupation was the 
choice of most Celts who settled there. 69 

In the third century B.C., the northern mountains of Spain 
were dominantly agricultural and matrilineal (which was pre- 
Indo-Germanic ) , whereas the meseta was predominantly pas- 
toral 70 and, typical of Celts, dominantly patrilineal. It seems 
that the numerically greatly superior peoples of the northern 
mountains maintained their fundamental way of life in spite of 
the Celts who settled among them and asserted control over 
them. The Celts fitted into the culture pattern of these earlier 
inhabitants one that had had connections with the immemori- 
ally old culture area of Central Europe. The peoples of the 
sparsely settled meseta apparently were more largely changed 
by Celtic customs. 71 With their pastoral-agricultural back- 
ground, adjustment to either one or the other type of economy 
presented no serious problems to the Celts. 72 

68 There are other possible ones. See "Le Mobilier Funeraire de la 
Tombe de Vix," La Revue des Arts, No. 4 (1953), 202; Raymond Bloch 
and Rene Joffroy, "L* Alphabet du Cratere de Vix," Revue de Philologie, 
XXVII, No. 11 (1953), 175-191; "Le Grand Cratere de Vix: produit de 
1'Italie meridionale ou Vase etrusque*? Quelques theories a ne pas prendre 
*a la lettre/" Revue Archeologique, Ser. 6, XLIII (Jan.-March, 1954), 

69 Maluquer, "Los Pueblos de la Espana celtica," Historic de Espana, 
Tomo I, Vol. Ill, Pt. 1, 184. 

70 Caro Baroja, Pueblos del Norte, pp. 29, 205, 226. 

71 Bosch Gimpera, "Two Celtic Waves," p. 113. 

72 There is another factor also, that of the non-Celtic Central Europeans 
who accompanied the Celtic invasions. In some cases it may have been 
these peoples who established the economic pattern. Many small Germanic 
groups are perhaps involved in the Celtic invasions. See note 1 above, 
and Maluquer, p. 10. 


Contacts between the Ancient 

Civilizations of the Eastern 

Mediterranean and Iberia 



; NE FREQUENTLY meets claims that there was con- 
tact between the far western coasts of present Spain 
and Portugal and Crete of Minoan times. It is not 
only a seductive idea but it makes a reasonable hy- 
pothesis, for the Minoans were good navigators, traders, and 
seekers of metals. Had they known anything of the Iberian 
Peninsula they might well have been attracted; however, while 
it is quite possible that the Mediterranean island route to the 
west was used by them, 1 as yet there is no convincing evidence 
that it was. The excavations of Almeria culture at Los Millares, 
which may be dated as of 2000-1800 B.C., presented certain 
items reminiscent of Aegean cultures, but there is no evidence 
that would clearly demonstrate connection. Such items may 
represent nothing more than casual parallelism. Other finds of 
a somewhat later period in Spain make better evidence of con- 

1 Rhys Carpenter, The Greeks in Spain, p. 17. 



tact with the eastern Mediterranean lands, for they can be 
neatly equated with materials of Egyptian Tell-el-Amarna of 
1400-1200 B.C. The Egyptian trade items of this period of time 
are well known to Spanish archaeology and almost surely may 
be associated with Phoenician intermediaries. As of the present 
date, such items may be taken as the earliest evidence of 
direct contact between Iberia and the eastern Mediterranean 
navigators. 2 


It could not have been long after this time that easterners 
gained a greatly increased knowledge of Iberia and interest 
in it. In a sense, there was a westward movement that was the 
southern counterpart of a similar movement in the north. The 
chronology of contacts between the eastern Mediterraneans 
and Iberia is roughly comparable to that of the Central Euro- 
pean contacts with north and northwest Iberia. The earliest 
passage of Phoenician ships through the straits of Gibraltar 
was probably made during the general period of time when 
the Central European farmers and pastoralists were first enter- 
ing the Cantabrian region. These events preceded the first 
millennium B.C. 

Later, Greek exploration and trade grew, following the ex- 
ample given by neighboring Phoenicia, perhaps as early as the 
ninth century and certainly by the end of the seventh century 
B.C. Such contacts can be equated in time with the acceleration 
of the east-west movement of peoples and cultures which took 
place in the north with the advent of the Celts, who may have 
appeared in Iberia as early as 900 B.C., and the main force of 
which was felt by the sixth century. Between the sixth and 
the third centuries B.C., while the lands of the western Medi- 
terranean were developing under the influence of active and 
aggressive Greeks and Carthaginians, northern Iberia was 
changing under the influence of Celts of later arrival from be- 
yond the Pyrenees. 

2 Antonio Garcia y Bellido, Hispania Graeca, I, 5-7. 



There was a difference, however, between the early contacts 
along the Mediterranean coasts and those of the Central Euro- 
peans with northern Iberia. It was not opportunity for settle- 
ment that drew men along the southern coasts, but trade and 
quite probably fishing, and perhaps evaporation of sea water 
for salt. Sidon, the mother of many other Phoenician settle- 
ments at home and abroad, bore a name meaning fishers' town, 
and the Phoenician settlement, in approximately the present 
location of Malaga, bore the name Malach, which means salt- 
ing place. 3 It was the attraction of metals that drew the early 
Greeks beyond the straits of Gibraltar and along the western 
coasts of Spain. 


It is possible that the early merchant wayfarers sailed up the 
west coast to trade directly with Galicia. But if they did, the 
coast of present Portugal represented a gap in their interest, 
for there is almost no record of them there. 4 It would seem that 
Portugal was then, as through so many periods of time before 
and after, apart from the main stream of events. It possessed 
no great source of silver such as the mines of Andalusia, nor 
of copper or tin (with slight exceptions in both cases). With 
her metals, Spain was a magnet for the early traders, whereas 
Portugal attracted casual traders at most. A few Punic settle- 
ments in the south were devoted to fishing, salt-making, and 
perhaps some farming, but none of these has left a record of 
importance. There is sufficient knowledge of such settlements, 
however, to assure us that Portugal was not entirely unknown 
or untouched by developments, even though it was offside. In 
part, it was affected directly, but the more important results 
were indirect. 

The history of the revolutionary events involved in the con- 

3 Charles L. Cutting, Fish Saving, pp. 18, 21. 

4 There are slight exceptions; for example, there is the Egyptian 
scarab of the seventh century B.C. that was found in a pre-Celtic level at 
Alcacer do Sal. See Pedro Bosch Gimpera, "Two Celtic Waves in Spain/ 3 
Proceedings of the British Academy, XXVI (1940), 79. 



tacts between Phoenicians, Greeks, and Carthaginians in their 
commerce with Iberia is the basis for the understanding of the 
ultimate domination of the whole peninsula by Mediterraneans 
from Rome. In order to understand the effect upon Portugal 
we must use, for the most part, evidence dealing with Spain; 
indirect as it is, it has important bearing upon the development 
of the Portuguese character and nation. 


At the time of their first contacts with the west, the earliest 
Phoenicians and Greeks encountered a culture area with funda- 
mentally similar characteristics throughout. It extended along 
the Mediterranean coasts, slopes, and adjacent interior valleys, 
from the Pyrenees to the Guadiana River. 5 The population had 
been long rooted in the area, probably as far back as the Neo- 
lithic period or even earlier.' 5 With their usual perspicacity, the 
Greeks recognized this area as being essentially homogeneous 
and sharply different in culture from the Celtic territories of 
the interior and of the north and west peripheries. 7 


This cultural homogeneity was not reflected, however, in 
political unity, which has led to confusion in interpreting the 
early accounts of peoples. Many politically disparate peoples 
were essentially of the same culture, and the application in 
many cases of several different names to the same group has 
not increased understanding. 

For example, frequently met are the names Ligurian and 

5 And perhaps even to the Rhone. See Juan Maluquer de Motes, 
"Pueblos Ibericos," Historia de Espana, Tomo I, Vol. Ill, Pt. 2, Chap. 1, 

6 Ibid., p. 306; Antonio Garcia y Bellido, La Peninsula Iberica en los 
comienzos de su historia, pp. 5152; Luis Pericot Garcia, Las Raices de 
Espana, p. 55. 

7 Maluquer de Motes, "Pueblos Ibericos," Historia de Espana, Tomo 
I, Vol. Ill, 306, 309. 



Turditanian, but the precise identification of these peoples is 
almost impossible to make. The first, according to Hesiod, were 
the oldest inhabitants of the Iberian peninsula.* Eratosthenes 
and Strabo mention them as being at the extreme west of the 
peninsula, including, it would seem, Andalusia and the Algarve 
of Portugal. Many writers believe them to have been the ur- 
stock of the peninsula, dislodged from the south (except for 
the Algarve ) by the Iberians, and from the north by the Celts 
( except for the Basques, whom Schulten believes to be a rem- 
nant of the Ligurians ) . However, the evidence is more contra- 
dictory than enlightening, and the question remains vexed. 9 

The derivation and distribution of the Turditanians is also 
far from clear. Probably they may be equated with the Tar- 
tessians of the middle and lower Guadalquivir valley and per- 
haps the term should include the people of the area of Huelva 
and beyond to the present Portuguese border. 10 Merchants and 
miners from this general area may have found their way into 
Portugal and established colonies at the time in which Argaric 
culture was flourishing in Spain. The Ora Maritima indicates 
that some of them may have been as far north as the location 
of present Alcacer do Sal of the western Alentejo. Ptolemy 
mentioned them as being in the areas of present Moura and 
Beja of the eastern Alentejo u and their influence may have 
spread as far north as the Mondego River in Middle Portugal; 
but for none of this do we have firm and conclusive evidence. 

In the earliest Greek texts the term "Iberian" is found, refer- 
ring to peoples at the extreme southwest of present Spain, the 
region of Huelva. 12 Yet in later texts of the Greeks the term is 
applied to all peoples of the Mediterranean area of present 

s Pierson Dixon, The Iberians of Spain and Their Relations with the 
Aegean World, p. 2. 

9 Pedro Bosch Gimpera, Etnologia de la Peninsula Iberica, pp. 631- 

10 Maluquer de Motes, "Pueblos Ibericos," Historia de Espafia, Tomo 
I, Vol. Ill, 310-311. 

11 See Pedro Bosch Gimpera, "Los Iberos," Ctiadernos de Historia de 
Espaiia, IX (Buenos Aires, 1948), 71. 

12 Garcia y Bellido, La Peninsula Iberica, pp. 45-47. 



Spain. 13 Still later all non-Celtic peoples of the interior and 
north were called Iberians, and ultimately the name became 
generalized for the peninsula. 14 Originally the term had cultural 
and perhaps ethnic meaning, but this was lost in its later use. 
Indisputably, one of the important Iberian groups was that 
of the Tartessians, wealthy farmers and traders in metals. 15 It 
was their knowledge of the sources of metals that first brought 
them in touch with the Phoenicians and Greeks. They knew 
the coasts to the west and northwest of their home, for the tin 
and gold that they traded came from Galicia. 1 ''' They were also 
able to furnish silver, copper, and lead, which came to them 
from the Guadalquivir River basin. 17 It appears that tin was 
the product of greatest importance at the time. The early 
centuries of the pre-Christian millennium were times of great 
opulence along the coast of Galicia. That this wealth was due 
to tin may be inferred from the fact that the Greeks used the 
term Cassiterides to identify the area. However, the question 
as to the ultimate source of tin is moot. In spite of the lack of 
archaeological evidence it seems likely that, in the earliest years 
of trading, it came from alluvial deposits along the river banks 
of Galicia. There is a possibility, however, that Bronze Age 
connections with French Brittany and with the British Isles had 

13 Ibid., p. 51. Martinez Santa-Olalla and Almagro have been inclined 
to deny the existence of an ethnically distinct group to be called Iberians 
(Pericot, Las Raices de Espana, p. 54), but as time goes on this anti- 
Iberian position is becoming more and more difficult to maintain. Almagro 
himself in his later publications has altered his earlier view (Ibid., p. 56) . 

14 Bosch Gimpera, "Los Iberos," Cuadernos de Historia de Espaila, 
IX, 6. 

15 Pericot Garcia, Las Raices de Espana, p. 56; Dixon, The Iberians of 
Spain, p. 9; Maluquer de Motes, "Pueblos Ibericos," Hist or ia de Espana, 
Tomo I, Vol. Ill, 309; Bosch Gimpera, "Los Iberos," Cuadernos de 
Hist or ia de Espana, IX, 5. 

16 C. Torres Rodriguez, "La Venida de los Griegos a Galicia," Cuader- 
nos de Estudios Gallegos, VI (1946), 211, 218; Casimiro Torres, "Las 
Kassiterides," Cuadernos de Estudios Gallegos, IV (1945), 624; Malu- 
quer de Motes, "Pueblos de la Espana celtica," Hist or ia de Espana, 
Tomo I, Vol. Ill, Pt. 1, 78. 

17 Maluquer de Motes, "Pueblos Ibericos," Historia de Espana, Tomo 
I, Vol. Ill, 339. 



continued and that the Galicians were merely purveyors of tin 
from those places. 16 This basic necessity of bronze-users was 
scarce in the other parts of the Phoenician and Greek world. 
There was no tin in all of North Africa, Asia Minor, Caucasia, 
Cyprus, mainland Greece, and the Greek islands. The mines 
of Tuscany were small. 10 It is no wonder that both Galicia and 
the Tartessians were prosperous and that the Phoenicians and 
Greeks were attracted to the area. 

The Tartessians were named after the region in which they 
lived, Tartessos, probably the Biblical Tarshish with which 
Hiram of Tyre traded for metals in the tenth century B.C. 20 It 
is likely that the name at first had no geographical significance, 
merely meaning, to the Phoenicians, the market place for 
metals. 21 Later, with the overriding importance of the lower 
Guadalquivir Valley in such traffic, the name was pre-empted 
for it, especially after the foundation of Gadir ( Cadiz ) by the 


The ancient Tyrian settlement, Gadir, may be dated from 
1000 B.C. There are numerous and convincing arguments sup- 
porting such a date, 22 even though archaeology does not as yet 
bear it out, and some pre-historians deny it vigorously. Dixon 
would bring the date down to the eighth or seventh century 
B.c, 23 but not all of his arguments are convincing. He claims 

18 Torres, "Las Kassiterides," Cuadernos de Estudios Gallegos, IV 
(1945), 624-632. 

19 Torres Rodriguez, "La Venida de los Griegos a Galicia," Cuadernos 
de Estudios Gallegos, VI (November 6, 1946), 218, quoting Quiring. 

20 Antonio Garcia y Bellido, La Peninsula Iberica en los comienzos de 
su historia, pp. 170-171. 

21 Bosch Gimpera, "Los Iberos," Cuadernos de Historia de Espafia, 
IX, 51. 

22 Antonio Garcia y Bellido, Hispania Graeca, I, 32-37. Phoenician 
ivories from Carmona, east of Seville in the Guadalquivir Valley, can 
probably be dated as of the tenth century B.C. See W. F. Albright, The 
Archaeology of Palestine, Pelican Books, p. 123. 

23 Dixon, The Iberians of Spain, p. 23. 



that Gadir, being farther from the mother city, could not have 
been founded before Carthage, in spite of the fact that history 
is replete with examples demonstrating that the maxim, "the 
nearer, the sooner," Is not valid in the matter of colonization. 24 
It seems obvious that its foundation was due to its position 
facing the metal market of Tartessos. Also, it was an excellent 
place for the settlement of traders who, in the tradition of the 
eastern Mediterranean, were probably pirates as well, and if 
not, were certainly conscious of the threat of piracy. The site, 
at that time, was not connected with the mainland but sepa- 
rated from it by a deep channel, sufficiently wide to serve for 
defense. With its numerous wells of potable water and fine 
pasture for cattle, it was a stronghold of obvious attractions. In 
fact, the name Gadir, or Agadir, probably signified fortress or 
castle." 7 ' Its location is much like the sites of early Tyre, Sidon, 
and other cities of Phoenicia. 

Some time after the settlement of Gadir, the Phoenicians 
founded the city that was to become the most famous of their 
colonies; Carthage was founded in 814 B.C. 20 In the same gen- 
eral period of time, numerous little fishing and salting settle- 
ments were founded along the coasts that stretched from Cape 
S. Vicente in the west through the south of Portugal and along 
the Mediterranean to Cape Gata of modern Spain. 27 


The earliest Greek ventures may perhaps be dated as of the 
ninth or the eighth century B.C. Possibly Rhodian and Chal- 
cidian sailors were in the western Mediterranean at this time. 28 

21 H. R. W. Smith, in his review of Garcia y Bellido's Hispania Graeca 
in the American Journal of Archaeology, LVII, No. 1 (January, 1953), 
31-36. The earliest Greek find in Spain is that of the Jerez helmet of 
the seventh century B.C. This also is the find farthest from Greece bar 
only one, the Huelva helmet. 

3r> Garcia y Bellido, Hispania Graeca, I, 34. 

2fi Ibid., p. 46. 

27 Antonio Garcia y Bellido,, "Colonization Punica," Historia de Espana, 
Tomo I, Vol. II, 331. 

28 Garcia y Bellido, Hispania Graeca, I, 61, 77. 



Garcia believes that for the last half of the eighth century there 
is clear evidence of traffic with the islands and along the west- 
ern coasts of the Mediterranean, picking up the metals for 
which the Phoenicians had long been trading. The line of 
Ionian names stretching along the islands and coasts of the 
western Mediterranean and to the Atlantic coast of Portugal 
the names with the oussa termination can probably be as- 
cribed to this early period. 29 These names are interesting and 
important in dating the arrival of the Greeks in western 
waters.'" They mark the island route of the early Greek navi- 
gators. Starting from Syrakoussai in eastern Sicily, they may be 
followed through Ichnoussa (Sardinia), Meloussa (Menorca), 
Romyoussa (Mallorca) and Pityoussa (Ibiza). The latter three, 
even now, are identified on maps as the Balearics or Pityusas 
(for example, in the Stieler Atlas). The oussa names extend 
westward to the straits of Gibraltar and up the Atlantic coast 
of Portugal to Ophioussa, in the region of Lisbon, and the 
general area of Portugal plus Galicia may have been vaguely 
termed Ophioussa. 31 

If one could merely say "Greek" and thus clear up the ques- 
tion of early contacts, the matter would be much simplified. 
However, various Greeks were involved, and as they were not 
all of the same viewpoint and intent, it is of some value to try 
to determine which groups were concerned in these earliest 


Herodotus said that it was Greeks from the city of Phocaea 
in Asia Minor who were first to navigate in the western Medi- 
terranean waters. It may seem temerous to question the facts 
of the father of history, but Garcia does so convincingly. The 
Phocaeans, says he, arrived late upon the scene, profiting by 

29 Ibid., p. 77. 

30 Carpenter, The Greeks in Spain, p. 33. Schulten first recognized 
them, and later the idea was more fully exploited by Carpenter. 

31 Garcia y Bellido, Espana en los comienzos de su historia, map, p. 186. 



earlier maritime contacts. Nor does he accept the statement 
that the interesting and important voyage of Kolaios, the 
Samian, was a voyage of discovery of Tartessos for the Greeks. 
This widely heralded seventh century journey was, to him, 
merely one although perhaps the most profitable and spec- 
tacular up to that time of many such voyages that had been 
made by Rhodians, Chalcidians, Samians, and others:" 2 

Whatever the dating may be and the archaeological inquiry 
has far to go the Phocaeans certainly became the most active 
and effective Greeks in the area. Their colonization had energy 
and breadth and was the only one in the western Mediter- 
ranean with lasting results/ 13 If one can believe that necessity 
is the mother of invention, or at least of effort, one can under- 
stand why relatively humble Phocaea achieved her success. 
Situated upon a good harbor near the mouth of the important 
Hermos (Gediz) River in Asia Minor, it was limited by the 
earlier activities and monopolies of more important neighbors, 
Miletus, Ephesus, and Samos, which had colonized vigorously 
around the eastern Mediterranean. Phocaea had to look farther 
afield for a sphere of profitable activity. There is no specific 
evidence that this activity was connected with the decay of 
Tyre, but there is such a coincidence in time. Tyrian decline 
had begun by the end of the eighth century B.C. and was 
notable during the following century. This was the time of the 
voyage of Kolaios the Samian (650 B.C.), the founding of the 
Phocaean colony of Massalia, present Marseille (600 B.C., or 
approximately then)/ 4 and the founding of Alalia in Corsica 
(640 B.C., or approximately forty years prior to Massalia). 35 

32 Garcia y Bellido, Hispania Graeca, I, 121, 124. Another point of 
view Is expressed by H. R. W. Smith in his review of Garcia y Bellido's 
Hispania Graeca, American Journal of Archaeology, LVII, No. 1 (Jan- 
uary, 1953), 33. Smith does not deny the thesis of Garcia but says that 
he can find no reason to believe that the Phocaeans reached Tartessos 
prior to the time of Arganthonios, the Tartessian king friendly to the 
Greeks, or before the voyage of Kolaios. 

23 Garcia y Bellido, Hispania Graeca, I, 97. 

s * Ibid., p. 115. 

25 Ibid., p. 156, 



Some time before the end of the century, Mainake, the most 
westerly of Phocaean colonies, was founded near Malaga. :j ' ; 

This century was one of intimacy between Phocaeans and 
Tartessians. The reign of Arganthordos of Tartessos began in 
the seventh century B.C." 7 The ancient sources spoke of his 
eighty-year reign but probably, in typical Greek fashion, they 
dramatized a dynasty or a period by creating a mythical lon- 
gevity for a single ruler. Whether this represented one ruler 
or several does not alter the fact that there was frequent and 
close contact between Tartessos of the period and Phocaea. 
This was the period of the Phocaean maritime dominance 38 
and also the period of time during which the Tartessian king 
lent money to the Phocaeans to build their fortifications against 
the threat of the Persians. 30 


The period of the decline of Tyre was not only important for 
the Ionian Greeks, but also for the Tyrian colony of Carthage. 
During the time of Phocaean colonization, Carthage too was 
expanding. As early as 653 B.C. it had established the colony 
on Ibiza of the Balearics, which lay athwart the Greek island 
route to the west. 40 After 573 B.C., when Tyre fell to the Baby- 
lonians, Carthage showed increasing independence. Competi- 
tion for western metals was growing between the two great 
rivals, Carthage and Greece. It is reasonable to assume that the 
friendship of Arganthonios (or that of his dynasty), through 

30 Within twenty miles to the east, says Garcia y Bellido (Hispania 
Graeca, I, 130-131). Smith suggests (in a review of Hispania Graeca, 
op. cit., p. 34) that it might even be at approximately the outskirts of 
present Malaga. 

37 630-550 B.C., according to Garcia y Bellido, Hispania Graeca, 1, 129; 
or 620-540 B.C., according to Dixon, The Iberians of Spain, Appendix. 

3s 584-540 B.C., according to Garcia y Bellido, Hispania Graeca, 1, 144; 
or 577-533 B.C., according to Dixon, The Iberians of Spain, Appendix. 

39 Dixon, The Iberians of Spain, p. 48. 

40 Garcia y Bellido, Hispania Graeca, I, 103. 



almost a century of time, was more than mere affection and 
amiability. It probably represented a form of alliance in which 
the Tartessians aided the Phocaeans in their struggle against 
the threat to their mother city. In return, Greeks supported 
the westerners against the growing aggressiveness of Carthage 
and the Punic colony of Gadir, which threatened the area of 

Almost from the time of their founding of Gadir the Phoe- 
nicians showed their expansionist tendencies. It was not long 
before they were using the island as a base of attack against 
the mainland and the Tartessians. 41 

The Greeks were usually neither pacific nor friendly neigh- 
bors when the prospect of gain was apparent. In this they dif- 
fered little from the Phoenicians. However, in their relations 
with the Tartessians they had no desire, it would seem, for 
control of land or people, but merely wanted to trade their 
products, especially olive oil and wine, for Tartessian metals. 42 
In fact, the history of Greek contacts with Iberians is one of 
amity, and the hospitality of the Iberians toward Greeks was 
proverbial. 43 The purposes of both peoples were served by 
friendly intercourse and mutual support against the common 
enemy, especially after the increased importance and the ex- 
panded ambition of Carthage. A major clash and a final deci- 

41 Garcia y Bellido, "Colonizacion Punica," Historia de Espafia, Tomo 
I, Vol. II, Pt. 3, 331-332. 

42 Dixon, The Iberians of Spain, p. 15, and Carpenter, The Greeks in 
Spain, p. 96, state that the olive and the vine were introduced into Spain 
by the Greeks. Olive oil was exported from Greek Akragas to Carthage in 
the first half of the first millennium B.C. See T. J. Dunbabin, The Western 
Greeks, p. 221. There is no reason to suppose that it was not also sent 
to Iberia, even though J. G. D. Clark in Prehistoric Europe, the Economic 
Basis, p. 116, doubts such an early introduction into the west. Wine made 
from grapes is very old in the countries of the eastern Mediterranean, and 
the Phoenicians were famous merchants of wine. No doubt the Greeks 
traded in wine with Iberia, but it may have been Phoenicians who 
introduced it there. See H. F. Lutz, Viticulture and Brewing in the 
Ancient Orient ; p. 31. 

43 Maluquer, "Pueblos Ibericos/" Historia de Espana, Tomo I, Vol. IIL 



sion as to complete dominance of the area was inevitable. This 
was speeded by events in the eastern Mediterranean area. 


In the middle of the sixth century B.C., events took their 
course in a rapidly changing scene. In 546 B.C., Cyrus, the 
Mede, captured Sardis and the Lydian monarch, Croesus. The 
fright that this occasioned among lonians nearby caused a mass 
migration of perhaps half of the population of Phocaea from 
Asia Minor to their Corsican colony of Alalia. 44 When the gen- 
erals of Cyrus took Phocaea, all the men in this city of prob- 
ably five to seven thousand people had gone. 45 This population 
figure suggests the large number of available vessels, and points 
to the commercial importance of the city at that time. 

The Alalia settlement proved to be of short duration, for its 
position on the Tyrrhenian Sea, through which so much traffic 
moved between Carthage and Etruria, made it a threat to this 
major route of commerce. It must be remembered that in those 
days along the Mediterranean only small distinction existed 
between trade, fishing, and piracy. The Greeks were as cold- 
blooded and grim a group of predators as could be found. All 
ships were prepared to exploit any possible opportunity of gain. 
Not only was the trade route threatened, but so also were Punic 
interests in Sardinia. Obviously, neither the Carthaginians nor 
the Etruscans could tolerate such a situation. They united their 
forces, each furnishing sixty vessels to a battle fleet. This fleet 
was opposed by sixty Phocaean vessels which, although trim- 
mer and more effective, were decisively defeated, sometime 
between 540 and 535 B.C. 46 Carthage may then have sealed the 
straits of Gibraltar, as Carpenter suggests. 47 More likely, the 

44 Garcia y Bellido, Hispania Graeca, I, 177, 181. 

45 Ibid., p. 183. 

46 Ibid., pp. 185-186. Carpenter dates it as 535 (The Greeks in Spain, 
p. 18). Herodotus speaks of the Phocaean victory. If they did achieve a 
victory, it was Pyrrhic, for the result was disastrous. 

47 Carpenter, The Greeks in Spain, p. 34. 



straits had been largely sealed for a long time, but after the 
battle the land route between Malnake and Tartessos was also 
blocked. Mainake itself was destroyed by the Carthaginians 
toward the end of the century/ 6 to end its traffic and its com- 
petition with the Carthaginian settlement in the location of 
present Malaga. 49 

This period of Carthaginian supremacy may have given rise 
to the legends of sea monsters and other dangers of the Atlan- 
tic. Pindar, in the middle of the fifth century, spoke of the 
dangers beyond the Gates of Hercules. The Greek capacity for 
mythologizing real events may have given birth to the super- 
stitious fears which plagued at least some mariners down to the 
time of the Age of Discoveries. There were sea monsters cer- 
tainly, after Carthaginian dominance of the western Mediter- 
ranean, but they were under the command of Carthaginians. 


As Carthage had inherited the western empire of Tyre, so 
did Massalia fall heir to that of her mother city, Phocaea. Greek 
trade became centered here, with the end of Phocaean mari- 
time enterprise in the west of the Mediterranean. Trade 
through France to Brittany and beyond had been undoubtedly 
important to the Massaliotes previous to this time, but the rec- 
ord had been obscured by the greater drama of the struggle on 
the Mediterranean. 

During the last half of the sixth century B.C., during which 
time Carthaginians grasped complete power in the west, the 
prosperity of Galicia presumably based upon tin declined. 50 
This decline may have been due simply to the change from the 
sea route, by way of the straits, to that from Massalia, via the 

48 Garcia y Bellido, Hispania Graeca, I, 149. 

49 Founded probably in the eighth century B.C. Dixon, The Iberians oj 
Spain, p. 24. 

50 Torres, "Las Kassiterides," Cuadernos de Estudios Gallegos, IV 
(1945), 627. 



French rivers, to the northwest and ultimately to Britain. But 
the question must be raised as to why Carthaginian control 
would have reduced the importance of the Galician area if it 
had been a primary producer of tin. The Carthaginians \vere 
aggressive traders and presumably would not have appropri- 
ated a productive area from the Greeks just to watch it languish. 
There are several possible explanations. (1) It may have 
been simply a matter of the playing out of the placer tin in 
the Galician area. (2) More likely, the Galicians had for some 
time been not producers, but purveyors, of tin from French 
Armorica or the British Isles. If this were true, the direct land 
route from Massalia w j ould have skirted the Carthaginian bar- 
rier and eliminated Galician middlemen. (3) It is possible that 
interest in tin diminished because of the increasing use of iron. 
(4) The Carthaginians had little coinage until the fourth cen- 
tury B.C., and that for payment of mercenaries. The great de- 
mand for bronze by Greeks was for armor and sculpture. As 
Carthaginian archaeology indicates little interest in either, tin 
may have had little importance to them. 31 Moreover, at ap- 
proximately the same period of time there was an increased 
interest in silver. The Phoenicians had early been interested in 
silver; 1 - and during the centuries of the rise of Greek trade the 
demand was increased by the avidity with which the Greeks 
of Asia Minor sought it for coinage. 53 Metal from the rich mines 
in the area of the headwaters of the Guadalquivir River 54 was 
brought downstream to Tartessos. Perhaps the richest of ancient 
silver mines was that of Mastia (or Massia), a region second 
only to Tartessos in commercial importance. The ancient pros- 
perity of the region and of its most important city, also named 
Mastia (or Massia), the later Cartago Nova, and probably the 
site of the present Cartagena, was based upon silver mining 55 

51 H. R. W. Smith (personally transmitted note). 

52 Garcia y Bellido, Hispanic Graeca, I, 30-31. 

53 Dixon, The Iberians of Spain, p. 33. 

51 Mines near present Linares. Carpenter, The Greeks in Spain, p. 37. 

52 Ibid., pp. 28-29. Cartago Nova, present Cartagena, was founded by 
the Carthaginians in 221 B.C. Ibid., p. 91. 



through several centuries. Great amounts were mined under 
the direction of Hannibal In the third century B.C., and it was 
still a large operation at the time of Polybius in the succeeding 
century. 5fj 


Prior to the battle of Alalia the Carthaginians had conquered 
Sardinia 57 (one of the oussa links in Greek traffic), partly by 
the use of mercenaries recruited from their seventh-century 
colony of Ibiza (another oussa link). Beyond the straits of 
Gibraltar the early Punic settlement of Gadir gave them stra- 
tegic control of that region. Besides these important strong- 
holds, there were others, of lesser importance but adding to 
total Carthaginian strength. Greek commercial activity in 
Iberia was ended and Carthage was less inhibited in the spread 
of its control Tartessos, which had feared the Carthaginians 
and had allied itself with the Greeks, was left without support 
and was destroyed/' 8 In the following century, probably twenty 
thousand Iberian mercenaries were fighting in Sicily for the 
Carthaginians. 59 Fourth-century evidence indicates that some 
Celts were also serving as mercenaries in the Carthaginian 
forces. 60 

There was an increasing reliance upon mercenaries from the 
peninsula, not only from the fringes but from deep within the 
interior as well. In the late third century B.C., Hannibal's army 
included Celtiberians from the northern interior, Galicians from 
the extreme northwest, Lusitanians from Middle Portugal, 

50 Dixon, The Iberians of Spain, p. 34. 

57 Garcia y Bellido, Hispania Graeca, I, 147. 

58 If there was no one city of that name, it is not important to the 
larger fact that the area as a whole was put under the control of the 
Carthaginians of Gadir. Carpenter, The Greeks in Spain, pp. 34-35. 

59 The Carthaginians made a bargain to save themselves before Syra- 
cuse, leaving their allies and mercenaries behind. The Iberians were then 
enlisted as a unit into Syracusan forces. Later, some of them served in 

00 Garcia y Bellido, Hispania Graeca, I, 23-24. 



Vetones from the middle Tajo drainage and these do not com- 
plete the list.' ;i Such troops, however, were something other 
than pure mercenaries; many had been forcibly impressed into 
service. In spite of Hannibal's amazing campaigns in Italy, it 
may be wondered if they might not have been even more spec- 
tacular had there been no bitter opposition in Iberia to his 
forcible draft of troops. During earlier centuries no general 
antagonism in Iberia seems to have been engendered by the 
Carthaginians. Locally there may have been antagonism, such 
as probably existed between the Carthaginians and the Tartes- 
sians, but for the tribes of the interior the Carthaginians may 
have had a friendly appeal. They offered an opportunity to 
fight with pay. It was later, when the Carthaginians had ex- 
panded their power and increased their need for troops, that 
their tactics changed with regard to these tribes of the interior, 
which had long served as a source of manpower. When Han- 
nibal, in desperate need for troops and under economic pres- 
sure, forcibly impressed some of them into his armies, the 
others reacted in bitter opposition. The tribes of the interior 
were a bellicose lot. An opportunity to fight for pay was not 
distasteful to them but a demand that they submit to enslave- 
ment was another matter. According to Strabo they resisted 
Hannibal as they later did the Romans for somewhat the same 
reasons/ 1 " 

Nevertheless, tens of thousands of mercenaries were intro- 
duced to new lands and cultures of the middle and eastern 
Mediterranean. Since this process had been going on from as 
early as the sixth century B.C. and many men had returned to 
the peninsula, the effect upon attitudes of the peoples of the 
meseta and even some of the remote western coasts may have 
been considerable. 

In the area of present Portugal, Carthage recruited a few 

61 A. A. Mendes Correa, "A Lusitania pre-romana," Historia de Portugal, 
I, 175. 

2 J. Garcia Mercadal (trans, and ed.), Viajes de extranjeros por 
Espana y Portugal, p. 115. 



mercenaries, but aside from this it apparently had interest 
only in coastal stations. For example, there is no record of 
Carthaginian exploitation of the copper of the Alentejo, which 
Romans later mined at Aljustrei'" 1 As all of southern Portugal 
is poor in tin, silver, and gold, there was little there to distract 
them from their preoccupation with such places as Andalusia 
and Murcia, except for the profitable fishing for tuna, mackerel, 
and other less important species, and the evaporation of salt for 
the preparation of fish for export. This was the basis of several 
Carthaginian settlements along the Algarvian coast and even 
up the west coast to the mouth of the Sado River, 04 One 
wonders also if they may not have been interested in certain 
aspects of farming on the Algarvian littoral Carthaginians were 
good farmers, and although their expeditions were concerned 
with commerce primarily, and not with settlement for its own 
sake, dried figs had long been an item of their commerce out 
of Ibiza. (i5 As figs thrive now in the Algarve and have been 
important in its economy through all time for which we have 
information, one wonders if the Carthaginians had not added 
this item to their list of commercial products by introducing 
the tree to southern Portugal. 

The events related in this chapter are concerned with the 
Mediterranean shores of present Spain, and only slightly with 
those of Portugal. During the centuries which have been con- 
sidered, commerce and communications were bringing the 
southern shores of Iberia in contact with the affairs of the East, 
whereas the western coasts of Iberia, the Portuguese coasts, 
remained isolated and out of touch with the more advanced 
civilizations of the eastern Mediterranean. It is part of a per- 

63 Manuel Torres, "La Peninsula hispanica, provincia romana, 218 a, 
de J. C.-409 de J. C./' Eistoria de Espana, II, 333. This may also be 
due to Carthaginian lack of interest in bronze. 

64 Garcia y Bellido, "Colonizacion Piinica/* Historia de Espana, Tomo 
I, Vol. II, 385. 

65 Ibid. 9 p. 379. However, whatever was the Carthaginian contact with 
southern Portugal, it was not sufficient to alter, materially, the indigenous 
stratum. A. A. Mendes Correa, Raizes de Portugal (2nd ed.), p. 83. 



sistent pattern of history in Iberia. The character of Spain was 
shaped, in part, by the contact with the eastern Mediterranean 
lands during the millennium prior to the birth of Christ. Such 
contact had little effect upon Portugal. 


The Period of Roman Conquest 
and Control 


1HEN ROME conquered the Iberian peninsula there 
was a kinship and a cultural similarity between the 
peoples of Aquitaine (present southwest France) 
and Cantabria. This was made clear by Caesar and 
others. 1 From the Pyrenees to Galicia there were peoples simi- 
lar to each other in their ways of life. Strabo said ( and others 
bear him out) that all of the people of this northern, moun- 
tainous strip of Iberia lived essentially the same sort of life and 
had customs that were virtually identical ( Fig. 10 ) . L> It was a 
matriarchal, agro-pastoral civilization, the vestiges of which 
are still to be found in parts of the region." Farming-and-herd- 
ing peoples of this oceanic fringe had been settled in the area 
since before the beginning of the first millennium B.C. In spite 
of subsequent changes, brought about by incursions of new 
peoples ( most of whom had somewhat the same Central Euro- 
pean background as that of the earlier arrivals ) , they had main- 

1 Julio Caro Baroja, Los Pueblos del Norte de la Peninsula Ib erica, p. 82. 

2 Ibid., p. 38. ~ Ibid., p. 205. 



Figure 10. Iberian Culture Areas as Delimited by Strabo 

tamed an affinity for each other and considerable differences 
from the societies of patriarchal herders who occupied most of 
the meseta. 4 

There is abundant evidence that to the south of present 
Galicia, in what is now North Portugal, there was an extension 
of many of the same culture attitudes. The intimate, friendly 
association of the peoples of the area of present Galicia and 
those of the area of the present Minho Province of North Portu- 
gal cannot be doubted, for it was difficult to make a clear dis- 

4 Ibid., p. 227. See also Chapter 6 on Celtic immigration. It was true 
not only when the Romans first knew the territory but also as late as the 
twentieth century, according to Abelardo Merino ("El Regionalismo 
peninsular y la geografia historical* Boletin de la Real Sociedad Geogrdfica, 
LVIII (1916), 293-294): "To all of the zone of Cantabria and Atlantic 
to Porto can be applied Murgia's dictum (except for the maritime villas 
of Santander) : a life more internal than external with no effect on the 
balance of the peninsula . . . through all of its historical experiences it 
continues to be 'fishing and agricultural/ in a word 'primitive/ 

"In vain did foreigners with their pilgrimages try to make Santiago a 
cosmopolitan urb. . . . One can not exaggerate Vascocantabrismos, 
Asturianismos or Gallegismos." 

Figure 11 a. Area of Primitive Granaries 

Figure 11 b. Area of the Chilian Cart 



tinction between them at that time. Calked north of the Minho 
River were not of precisely the same tribe as the Callaeci to 
the south of the stream, but the two were sufficiently alike in 
their ways to be conveniently grouped together for administra- 
tive purposes. Caro Baroja has shown by his maps, two of 
which are reproduced in Figure II, 5 that several fundamental 
culture items were common to all of the north and northwest 
fringe of Iberia, down at least to the Douro River. These maps 
not only show similarities among the peoples along the humid 
fringe but emphasize the differences between the periphery 
and the dry meseta in the interior. 

Furthermore, there seems to have been a fundamental simi- 
larity between the peoples of the area of present North Portu- 
gal ( between the Minho and Douro rivers ) and the Lusitanians 
in present central Portugal. These Lusitanians probably harked 
back to a pre-Celtic period of time in Portugal They were not 
descended from Central European peoples of the same stock 
as were the agriculturists and pastoralists of the north. Nor, on 
the other hand, were they originally Iberians (in the strict 
sense ) , although they may represent an Iberian sub-group that 
later, but prior to our first record of them, had become Celti- 
cized, culturally and perhaps even physically/ 5 They were a 
distinct sub-group that lived between the Tejo and Douro rivers, 
but had been acculturated and mixed with peoples to the north 
of the Douro to such an extent that it was sometimes difficult 
to make a neat separation. This was notably so in comparison 
with the Callaeci. Silius Italicus distinguished the difference, 
but texts and archaeology show them to be difficult to separate 
culturally or ethnically. 7 

There was, then, a basic cultural similarity among peoples, 
extending from present France through northern Spain and 
down into Portugal to the Tejo River. This is not to say, how- 

5 Caro, Pueblos del Norte, maps 6 and 7, pp. 208 and 210 respectively. 

6 A. A. Mendes Correa, "Celtas na Beira, 7 * Boletim da Casa das Beiras, 
X (1943), No. 6, 5-11, and "A Lusitania pre-romana," Histaria de 
Portugal, I, 182. 

7 Mendes CorreX "A Lusitania pre-romana," Historia de Portugal, I ? 



Figure 12. Tribal Divisions in Northwestern Iberia during the 
Roman Period 

ever, that there were not differences among them, clearly recog- 
nized and strongly felt by the tribes themselves. They were in 
a sense cousins, rather than brothers. The Lusitanians were 
distinct from the Callaeci Bracarenses to the north of the Douro 
River (Fig. 12). These latter were divided from the Callaeci 
Lucenses to the north of the Minho River, and history and 
philology agree that the boundary between the Callaeci and 



the Astures lay along the Xavia River, not far to the east of 
the present boundary separating Galicia from Asturias/ 

With this diversity amid unity it is not surprising that con- 
fusion came about in the record of the various writers of the 
time. It seems that this was even furthered by the peoples 
involved. For example, prior to the campaign of Decimus 
Junius Brutus along the west of the peninsula (137 B.C.) the 
word "Callaecia" merely referred to a tribal territory, but we 
have Strabo's word for the fact that after that time the land 
farther south might be suggested by the term as some of the 
Lusitanians, impressed with the fame of the Callaeci, took to 
using their name/* The Lusitanians under their own name 
gained fame somewhat later. Either because of this change in 
names by local groups or because of the blending of the various 
culturally akin peoples, and also undoubtedly due to confusion 
or carelessness on the part of Roman writers, the name Lusi- 
tania at times was used for all of the peninsula. 


The Roman advance along the western Mediterranean, like 
that of the Greeks, was made, not by plan or with a prede- 
termined goal, but by steps taken one at a time as the oppor- 
tunity or necessity occurred. In Iberia many steps were forced 
upon the Romans, Carthage was a growing rival and was ex- 
panding eastward along the Mediterranean. In Iberia when 
this advance reached into the northeast, as far as present 
Catalonia, the maneuver was obviously threatening to Rome. 
The peninsula was a base of supplies, both material and human, 
for the Carthaginian armies, and Roman action was mandatory. 

The history of contacts between peoples in the peninsula and 
Mediterraneans farther to the east contributed to the ease of 
Roman entry along the Mediterranean coasts. In the first place 

8 Claudio Sanchez Albornoz y Menduina, "Divislones tribales y adminis- 
trativas del solar del reino de Asturias en la epoca romana," Boletin de la 
Real Academia de la Historia, XCV, No. 1 (July-Sept, 1929), 317. 

9 J. Leite de Vasconcellos, Religioes da Lusitdnia, I, xxii. 



Carthage had become Increasingly severe in her demands 
especially for levies of troops and Carthaginian popularity 
had not been increased by it. On the other hand the peoples of 
the urbanized Mediterranean coasts of Spain were thoroughly 
acquainted with European Mediterraneans to the east of them. 
The Greeks had long been friendly traders and the people of 
the Phocaean colony of Massalia had continued to maintain 
contact even after the battle of Alalia and the Carthaginian 
dominance of Mediterranean waters of Iberia. The Massaliotes 
and the Romans recognized a common enemy in Carthage and 
struck an alliance as early as 348 B.C. 10 By reason of all of these 
conditions the way was opened for the Romans, and they ad- 
vanced without difficulty along the littoral in the third century 



It was with the Celts and the Celticized groups of the in- 
terior and west that Rome faced her greatest difficulties. Here, 
too, it was more a matter of one step demanding another, than 
desire to possess either of these areas, that drove Rome to 
further conquest. 11 There is little reason to suppose that either 
the bleak meseta or most of the remote west had any attraction 
for the Romans. The sanguinary battles with the Celtiberians 
on the one hand and the Lusitanians on the other were not 
worth the cost in terms of the territory involved. The fact was 
that these dissident peoples were a threat to Roman control of 
the Mediterranean regions and they had to be subdued. 

In the non-Mediterranean areas the Romans were not dealing 
with essentially peaceful, urbanized folk of the kind that were 
known along the Mediterranean shores. Both the Celts of the 
interior and, especially, the Celticized hill folk of the west were 
of a different stamp. They were anything but complacent with 

10 Antonio Garcia y Bellido, Elspania Graeca, I, 238. 

11 Except for gold in the northwest Juan Maluquer de Motes, "Los 
Pueblos de la Espana celtica," Historia de Espana, Tomo I, Vol. Ill, Pt. 1, 



regard to Roman assumption of authority over them. They were 
a bellicose lot, famous for their interest in physical exploits, and 
were reputed to like fighting their neighbors better than culti- 
vation of the soil 12 That they felt themselves to be different 
from the city people of the Mediterranean slope is made mani- 
fest by their resistance to the Romans. Viriathus was the most 
flamboyant among them and had a quality of leadership fitting 
to his opportunities. But the spectacular sweep of Lusitanian 
armies under his command across the width of Iberia, decimat- 
ing Roman legions on their way, was not inspired by their 
leader; it was not forced upon his people; nor was it the achieve- 
ment of mercenaries. Rather it represented the upsurge of an 
independent group of strong character that had found an effec- 
tive leader. This dire threat to Roman control of the peninsula 
was averted by hiring the assassination of Viriathus. Whatever 
one may feel about the judgment and the deed, he must recog- 
nize that it was effective of the end it sought. There was no 
comparable leader among the Lusitanians, and opposition, al- 
though continued, was dogged rather than aggressive. The 
remnants of the Lusitanian forces withdrew in separate, small 
groups to the castros of the rural northwest and maintained 
resistance for several generations. 1 '" 

It was this sort of danger that forced the Romans to continue 
their conquest to the last remote outposts. The quality of the 
land, except for the lower Tejo valley and parts of the littoral, 
was of small attraction to them. In the rural northwest there 
were gold sands, but little else to catch their interest. Yet it 
was obvious that rebellious remnants, with a history of trucu- 
lence and raiding of settled places, could not be tolerated by 
imperial Rome. However, the reduction of the territory was 
far more difficult than Rome could have suspected at first. It 
took more than a century and a half, compared with seven 
years for the conquest of all of Gaul. 14 

13 A. A. Mendes Corr&a, "A Ltisitania pre-romana," Historia de Portu- 
gal I, 191-192. 

13 Vergilio Correia, "O Dominio Romana," Historia de Portugal, I, 218. 

14 Ibid,, p. 217. 




The Consul Declmus Junius Brutus, after fortifying Lisbon, 
advanced to the north, destroying settlements as he went. He 
established a fortified position at Viseu, crossed the Douro 
River, and reached the Lima River by 137 B.C. 15 Ultimately, 
according to Strabo, he conquered to the Minho River. 1 * At the 
end of his campaigns, Rome controlled the territory between 
the Douro and Minho rivers plus probable extensions along the 
coast and in the interior. 17 It was only under Augustus, how- 
ever, at the last of the first century B.C. that present North 
Portugal and Galicia were fully pacified and put under Roman 
control. The cities of Asturica Augusta (Astorga) and Bracara 
Augusta (Braga) were then founded. To the south, Emerita 
Augusta (Merida) was settled in 25 B.C. with the emeriti of 
the fifth and tenth legions. It became the capital of Roman 
Lusitania, that is, the territory lying between the Tejo and 
Douro rivers and extending eastward to present Talavera de 
la Reina. 

Roads were built to connect these and other settlements, in 
order to maintain firm control of this long-resistant area. 18 Villas 
were established. These large estates, rather like plantations in 
the New World of a later time, had the necessary structures 
and retainers grouped around the manor house. 19 Many of the 
names of these Roman villas have persisted until now as names 
of parishes or small towns. The quintas, the large and middle- 
sized properties of present northwest Portugal, perhaps repre- 
sent subdivisions of the villa. 20 The total number of Romans 

p. 218. 

16 Francisco Jose Velozo, "A Lusitania Suevico-Bizantina," Bracara 
Augusta, II, No. 2 (July, 1950), 118; No. 3 (Oct., 1950), 221-256; 
No. 4 (Feb., 1951), 389-402; IV, Nos. 1-3 (Dec., 1952), 46-69. 

17 Casimiro Torres, "Limites geograficos de Galicia en los siglos IV y 
V," Cuadernos de Estudios Gattegos, IV, No. 14 (1949), 367-368. 

18 See A. de Amorim Girao, Geografia de Portugal, map facing p. 366, 
for Roman roads. 

19 Velozo, "A Lusitania Suevico-Bizantina," Bracara Augusta, II, No. 2 
(July, 1950), 151. 

20 Antonio Jorge Dias, Os Arados Portugueses e as suas provdveis 
origens, p. 117. 



settled in the north was comparatively small, for this rainy, 
forested country was not to their taste. Compared to the rest 
of Iberia, it was Romanized late and poorly. 21 The south of 
Portugal, Mediterranean Portugal, was somewhat more to their 
liking. 22 This was sunny country, wheat country, good for olives 
and grapes. Evora, of the Alentejo, became known to them 
as Cerealis, a place of obvious attraction to the wheat-eating 


In the control of the west, Rome did not set up divisions 
contrary to previous tribal and cultural arrangement, except 
for reasons of military strategy or police requirements/ 2 ' The 
administrative organization of Roman Lusitania was ethnically 
reasonable if not perfect. It grouped together people with fun- 
damentally similar attitudes and values. 24 The province of Tar- 
raconensis, extending in a broad band across all of the north and 
including most of the east of the peninsula, was an exception to 
this policy. It included greatly disparate culture groups. The 
Romans realized the awkwardness of the arrangement and tried 
on several occasions to remedy the matter by establishing 
borders more in keeping with ethnic distribution. But they 
faced a twofold problem. Administration boundaries suitable 
to tribal (that is, cultural) boundaries conduced to smooth 
operation of control, and wherever possible the Romans fol- 
lowed this precept. 25 However, in dealing with belligerent sub- 
jugated peoples, the matter of military strategy took primacy 
over all other considerations. This fundamental conflict be- 

21 Claudio Sanchez Albornoz y Menduina, Ruina y extincion del munici- 
pio romano en Espana e instituciones que le reemplazan, p. 118. 
-- DIas, Arados, p. 103. 

23 Antonio Jorge Dias, Rio de Onor, p. 56. 

24 Exception here could clearly be taken to the inclusion of the Conies 
of the Algarve. However, they were a small group, inhabiting a small 
territory. Obviously Rome could not establish administrative subdivisions 
for each minor group. 

25 Velozo, "A Lusitania Suevico-Bizantina/* Bracara Augusta, II, No. 2 
(July, 1950), 126. 



tween civil and military control was nowhere more evident 
than in the northwest of Iberia. 

The first division of the country under Augustus put all of 
northwest Iberia into the province of Lusitania.-" Later, prob- 
ably between the years 15 and 1 B.C., the area down to the 
Douro, that is, inclusive of present North Portugal, was put 
under the control of Citerior Spain, which later became the 
Tarraconensis Province. This military device was made neces- 
sary by the administrative insecurity of the remote, intransi- 
gent, newly conquered province. 27 It obviously was not satis- 
factory, and Tiberius made a separate unit of approximately 
the territory of present Galicia and Asturias. 28 Later Caracalla 
set up other boundaries for a short-lived northwestern province 
under the governor, Cerealis.'-"' 3 

It seemed impossible to arrange the exterior boundaries of 
the province satisfactorily for both the people of the area and 
for the Roman government. In setting the boundaries of the 
subdivisions within the province, difficulty was mostly avoided 
by equating such limits with the culture groups affected. The 
territory of the Callaeci Lucenses (Fig. 12) became, with but 
slight difference, the Roman judicial district (Conventus luri- 
dicus) centered upon Lucus Augusti (Lugo) which included 
approximately the present territory of the Spanish province of 
Galicia. The territory of the Callaeci Bracarenses fitted well to 
the judicial district centered upon Bracara Augusta (Braga)." 
It foreshadowed the modem North Portugal. 

26 C. Torres, "Limites geograficos . . . ," Cuadernos de Estudios Gal- 
legos, IV, No. 14 (1949), 371. 

27 Ibid.., p. 372; Claudlo Sanchez Albornoz y Menduina, "Divisiones 
tribales y administrativas del solar del reino de Asturias en la epoca 
romana," Boletin de la Real Academia de la Historia, XCV No 1 (Julv- 
Sept, 1929), 377. 

28 C. Torres, "Limites geograficos ...,** Cuadernos de Estudios Gal- 
legos, IV, No. 14 (1949), 372. 

29 Sanchez Albomoz, "Divisiones tribales ...,** Boletin de la Real 
Academia de la Historia, XCV, No. 1 (July-Sept., 1929), 384. 

30 In fact, the boundaries of the Roman judicial districts fit nicely with 
the present national boundaries of Portugal. Velozo, "A Lusitania Suevico- 
Bizantina/' Bracara Augusta, II, No. 2 (July, 1950), 126; Antonio Garcia 
y Bellido, La Peninsula Iberica en los comienzos de su historia, p. 393. 




The Romans had certain fixations with regard to organiza- 
tion and ways of life. They effectively imposed their language 
upon the peninsula. Their code of law was applied. Changes 
were made in ways of living where it seemed necessary to 
administration. The hilltop dwellers of the northwest were 
largely transferred to the bottom lands. This was presumably 
done to eliminate raiding. By this action, however, an even 
more fundamental change was made in society. Present infor- 
mation indicates that men had taken, at best, a casual interest 
in agriculture. That had been woman's work, to be done with 
the hoe. In the bottom lands the problem was completely dif- 
ferent, for not only was plow agriculture possible but it was 
obviously a superior mode of operation. Furthermore, the 
heavier sods of the bottom lands are harder to cut than those 
of the hill lands and probably offered a real obstacle to the 
hoe. Perhaps of greater importance was the invariable associa- 
tion of men with the care and use of animals. With the intro- 
duction of the draft animal into agriculture men were immedi- 
ately involved. Being involved, however, does not necessarily 
mean that they took to it whole-heartedly. 

Even today the transfer of responsibility seems not to have 
been complete. This is shown by the fact that in Galicia and 
in the Minho of Portugal there is little distinction between the 
duties of men and women in the fields. In Galicia, women may 
perform any of the tasks (although rarely plowing). In the 
Minho, one is told that the heavier tasks go to the men, but 
this usually means merely that the job involving the use of 
an animal is a male responsibility, whereas other tasks, seem- 
ingly as heavy, are accomplished by women. In the bottom 
lands, where agriculture with plowmen became fundamental, 
raiding was eliminated, and the importance of herding was 

All of this altered the social structure in the area. Formerly 
it had been based fundamentally on extended family units. 
Each castro had been an individual autarchy, with collective 



occupancy of the land. This was changed with the Roman in- 
troduction of individual ownership of the land. 31 

The changes in Iberia effected by the Romans were not only 
great but also lasting, This resulted partly from the fact that 
the Romans were dealing, in many areas, with peoples who 
had "Mediterranean" ways not too different from those of the 
Romans themselves. Rome's troubles in the conquest and paci- 
fication of the interior and remote exterior areas of Iberia came 
from the bellicose Celtic or Celticized peoples, who were not 
"Mediterranean" in their points of view. Ultimately, however, 
Rome brought all of the dissidents to heel, and, through social 
and economic organization, as well as consideration for cultural 
differences where they did not interfere with administration, 
made the peninsula an effective unit in the empire. 

31 Dias, Arados, p. 103. It eliminated much of the primitive collec- 
tivism, but not all. Traces are still to be found in northwest Spain and 
in northern Portugal. See Caro, Pueblos del Norte, p. 45, and Dias Rio 
de Onor, especially Chapters V and VI, and Vilarinho da Furna, especially 
Chapters IV and VI. 

Even with Roman efficiency the castro was not entirely eliminated as 
a fort and place of resistance, for in 430 A.D. when the Swabians "deso- 
lated" the interior of Galicia the local inhabitants defended themselves 
in strong cast el-forts. Manuel Torres ["Las Invasiones y los Reinos 
Germanicos de Espafia (Anos 409-711),"] Historia de Espana, III, 27; 
Velozo, 4< A Lusitania Suevico-Bizantina," Bracara Augusta, II, No. 3 
(Oct., 1950), 249. 


The Germanic Conquest 

N THE EARLY fifth century the weakening Roman 
Empire relinquished power in Iberia to the migrating 
Germanic peoples who entered the peninsula, not with 
the intent of replacing Roman power, but in a search 
for lands upon which to settle. 1 Nevertheless, absolute power 
was ultimately theirs. Partly it fell into their laps from the 
debile hands of the Romans; partly, it came as a result of their 
changed attitude after Roman weakness became obvious. Ulti- 
mately the assumption of complete authority was a clearly 
indicated, easy step for them to take. 


To say that the Germans 2 took power should not imply that 
the exercise of it was everywhere the same, for these migrants 

1 F. Newton de Macedo, "O Dominio Germanico,** Historia de Portu- 
gal, I, 313. 

2 The word "Germans'* will be used instead of "German peoples'* to 
avoid the awkwardness of the latter phrase, even though the usage may 
not be precisely accurate. It makes no major distortion of fact. 



from Central Europe were not homogeneous in culture. One 
must be wary of the term "German" in such a context, for the 
Germans, In fact, differed greatly among themselves. It is help- 
ful in understanding the most fundamental of the differences 
to distinguish between eastern and western Germans. The Visi- 
goths and Vandals were eastern Germans, whereas the Swab- 
ians came from the west. Another tribe, not German at all but 
ultimately derived from the region of the Caucasus, \vas that of 
the Alans/ 5 who accompanied the Germans in their migration 
into Iberia. After battles in which they were decimated by 
Visigoths, their remnants finally merged with the Vandals and 
they left Iberia at the same time as the Vandals. 

An important distinction is to be made between western and 
eastern Germans in terms of their attitudes toward the land. 
Although both were at once agriculturists and herders, the east- 
erners were predominantly pastoralists/ whereas the western- 
ers paid greater attention to farming. For example, the Visi- 
goths were primarily dependent upon herding, although they 
were never Ignorant of agriculture. This, presumably, was the 
result of their migration from northern Europe southeastward 
to the area near the Black Sea, several centuries before their 
move Into Iberia. It was on the grazing lands near the Black 
Sea that they developed the complex of herding and agriculture 
which, blended with the attitudes and techniques that they had 
acquired through propinquity to the Roman Empire, gave them 
their character. At the time of their entry into the Iberian pen- 
insula they were known to be the most Romanized of the bar- 
barians. It was for this reason that the Romans selected them to 
protect Roman interests against the other Germans. 

The Swabians were western Germans and very different in 
their attitudes from the eastern Visigoths. They had long oc- 
cupied Saxony and Thuringia and had early gone south, where 
they had come in contact with the Helvetians ( Celts ) near the 
Main River. So in the centuries just prior to the Christian era, 

s Joseph M. Piel, Os Nomes germdnicos na toponimia portuguesa, p. 5. 
4 Ludwig Schmidt, "Teutonic Kingdoms in Gaul," Cambridge Medieval 
History, I, 287. 



the ways of Germans and Celts were blended and the two 
groups shared a common culture. 5 

Although Tacitus said that the Swablans thought it more 
honorable to fight than to harvest, and that they left the farm 
work to the w r omen and the old men/ 5 he is also our authority 
for the fact that they had a cult of "mother earth." ' Reminis- 
cent of the early Celts in Iberia, the Swabians were both farm- 
ers and fighters. There was a division of labor, so that women 
accomplished most of the farming, while the major attention of 
the men was focused upon care of the animals and fighting. 
Notwithstanding their taste for fighting and raiding, they were 
rooted in the soil. For Tacitus and others to call attention to 
Swabian truculence and taste for war is natural in a writer, but 
it distorts the facts, nevertheless. One must be wary of writers 
when they deal with simple peoples and humble pursuits. As 
long as the account of human activities has been written, the 
concern has been almost exclusively with dramatic events, 
while the undramatic but abiding bases of culture are apt to 
be overlooked. Warfare, weapons, and cities call attention to 
themselves, whereas peace, agriculture, and the simple ways of 
the countryside often escape notice. The great contribution 
that the Swabians made to Portugal was in the use of the land. 

The effect of this has been durable. It was they who intro- 
duced the Central European quadrangular plow into northwest 
Iberia/ These Central Europeans had a preference for the 
north and northwest of Iberia with its mild summers and with 
rainfall throughout all or most of the year. The climate was 
suitable to their crops, as was the natural vegetation to their 
animals. They found here a more propitious type of the same 
kind of environment which they had known previously in Cen- 
tral Europe. They brought to the area techniques and attitudes 
similar to those of its previous exploiters and well suited to its 

5 Martin Bang, "Expansion of the Teutons (to A.D. 378)," Cambridge 
Medieval History, I, Chap. VII. 

f> Francisco Jose Velozo, "A Lusitania Suevico-Bizantina/* Bracara 
Augusta, II, No. 2 (July, 1950), 152. 

7 Ibid., p. 137. 

8 Jorge Dias, Os Arados Portugueses e as suas pr&odveis origens, p. 129. 



further development. Much of the basis of living in present 
Galicia and North Portugal is a direct inheritance from the 
Swabian period of dominance. It differed sharply from atti- 
tudes and customs dominant In the meseta? and toponymy 
Illustrates the contrast. As Castllian is rich in martial terms, 
Galician is rich In agricultural words and the number of local 
terms associated with agriculture is greater in Galicia than in 
any other part of Spain. The evidence for this has been col- 
lected only for Galicia, the northern part of the former Swabian 
kingdom, but one can reasonably Infer that this judgment made 
by a Galician concerning Galicia can also be applied to the 
southern part of the kingdom, present North Portugal. 10 


The Swablans, Vandals, and Alans crossed the Pyrenees in 
408 or 409 A. D. 11 Within two years, parts of them had spread to 
the western edge of the peninsula and lands had been appor- 
tioned to each tribe. If difficulties were made either by the 
local inhabitants or by the local Roman administration, there is 

no record of it. In the statement of an early document, the areas 


originally apportioned to these tribes were assigned by lot. 12 
This may have been the fact, and it may have been fortuitous 
circumstance that placed the Swabians, by 411 A. D., in lands 
that were eminently to their taste, but it seems a little hard to 
believe. It is more likely that the Swabians, who later clung to 
these lands with determination, chose them. In fact, there is 

9 Ramon Menendez Pidal in La Espana del Cid, p. 56, says that 
Cantabria and Vasconia were always hostile to Visigothic Toledo. 

10 Jose Ramon and Fernandez Oxea, "Toponimias agricolas gallegas," 
Cuadernos de Estudios Gdlegos, V, No. 16 (1950), 221-222. National 
barriers frequently impede scholars from encompassing all of a logical 
area of study. 

11 Manuel Torres, "Las Invasiones y los Reinos Germam'cos de Espana 
(Anos 409-711)," Historia de Espana, III, 21. 

12 Rel, Nomes gerrndnicos, p. 5; Schmidt, "Teutonic Kingdoms in 
Gaul," Cambridge Medieval History, I, 304. 



some reason to believe that they did so, and later, compelled by 
the more powerful Vandals, had to relinquish a portion of 
them. 13 The Alans, at that time the strongest of the tribes, took 
a large area in the center and south, approximately the area of 
Roman Lusitania. The Silingian Vandals settled to the south- 
east of the Alans, and the Asdingian Vandals were in interior 
Galicia next to the Swabians. 14 

In 415, when the Visigoths entered, at the behest of Rome, 13 
the peninsula was at peace. 16 By this time the Swabians had 
been in the northwest for six years, as had been the Alans and 
Vandals in their allotted areas. They had settled among the 
local Luso-Roinans, who may have welcomed them and who at 
least offered no effective opposition to their settlement. The 
Luso-Romans apparently preferred "barbarian" control to the 
onerous pecuniary demands of the central Roman govern- 
ment. 17 There was no major opposition to the Swabians until 
the advent of the Visigoths who, allied with Rome, entered the 
peninsula, supposedly to re-establish Roman authority. 

The Visigoths met and decisively defeated an army of Alans 
and Silingian Vandals in 416. After that, neither of these tribes 
was to be reckoned with in peninsular affairs. 18 Their remnants 
were ultimately absorbed by the Asdingian Vandals who, like 
the Swabians, were settled in a remote corner of the peninsula, 
Presumably the fact of their geographical position saved these 
two tribes from the fate of their quondam companions, but it 
did not keep them at peace, for warfare broke out almost im- 

13 Velozo, "A Lusitania Suevico-Bizantina/* Bracara Augusta, II, No. 2 
(July, 1950), 242. 

14 Torres, "Las Invasiones y los Reinos Germanicos de Espana," Historia 
de Espana, III, 22; Schmidt, "Teutonic Kingdoms in Gaul/* Cambridge 
Medieval History, I, 304; Velozo, "A Lusit&nia Suevico-Bizantina," Bracara 
Augusta, II, No. 2 (July, 1950), 144. 

15 Macedo, "O Dominio Gerrnanico," Historia de Portugal, I, 309. 

16 Velozo, "A Lusitania Suevico-Bizantina/* Bracara Augusta, II, No. 2 
(July, 1950), 144. 

17 Ibid., p. 143. 

18 Torres, "Las Invasiones y los Reinos Germanicos de Espana," Historia 
de Espana, III, 22. 



mediately between them. In 419 the Swabians were driven into 
the northern mountains by the Vandals and only Roman inter- 
vention saved them from extermination. 18 It is apparent that 
Rome did not think of all German tribes as being of the same 

Not long after this event, the Asdingian Vandals, presumably 
dissatisfied with their environment in the northwest and under 
pressure by Romans and Visigoths, moved southward to join 
the remnants of the Silingians and the Alans. From there they 
went to Africa. Whether they went there by their own inspira- 
tion, or by the invitation of the Roman governor, is a disputed 
question. Boniface, the governor, was in difficulties with Rome 
at the time and there is reason to believe that he may have 
induced these fighters to aid him by the promise of territory. 20 
On the other hand, Africa was an area of famed productivity 21 
and was country far more to the taste of the Vandals than the 
rainy northwest of Iberia. Nor was this the first time that east 
Germans had evinced an interest in Africa. When in Italy, the 
Goths had planned to go there; again later, when they reached 
Cadiz, they went so far as to build a fleet to transport them- 
selves thither and were diverted only by the destruction of 
their ships in a storm. 22 With the departure of the Vandals and 
the remnants of the Alans for Africa in 429, the most im- 
portant Germans left in Iberia were the Swabians and the 
Visigoths. 23 


The Visigoths showed their taste for grazing country and 
settled by choice in the meseta, allowing the formerly prosper- 

19 Loc. tit.; Schmidt, "Teutonic Kingdoms in Gaul," Cambridge Medi- 
eval History, I, 304. 

20 Macedo, "O Dominio Germanico," Historm de Portugal, I, 315, 

21 Torres, "Las Invasiones y los Reinos Germanicos de Espaiia," Historia 
de Espana, III, 22. 

22 Macedo, "O Dominio Germanico," Historia de Portugal, I, 312. 

23 I&idL, p. 315. 



ous peripheries to languish. Coastal cities declined in impor- 
tance, while a few uneseta cities grew. Cartago Xova was 
relinquished as the capital in favor of Toledo. Cadiz faded 
almost completely as Mediterranean commerce declined/ 24 The 
bleak central land, unattractive even to Romans, was good 
pasture land and attractive to Visigoths. Even less than the 
Mediterranean fringes did the humid lands under the grey skies 
of North Portugal and Galicia appeal to them. Only a few 
individual Visigoths ever stayed to settle there/ 25 

How different were the attitudes of the Swabians* They 
chose to settle in the rainy, green Minho of North Portugal and 
in Galicia, and clung to it. They had come from an area in Ger- 
many very similar to it in climate, vegetation, and opportuni- 
ties for farming and grazing. The Swabians had had contact 
with Celts to their south in Central Europe and with the 
Romans throughout centuries of time. Many Swabians had 
served in Roman armies. 26 They had absorbed techniques and 
ways of life from both peoples. It was this combined culture 
that they brought with them into northwest Iberia. It fitted 
neatly into the patterns of use and wont of the area, which had 
been submitted earlier to both Celtic and Roman and prob- 
ably some German influences. The effect of this is brought 
out by the fact that in the sixth century, A. D., toward the end 
of the period of the Swabian kingdom in the northwest, after 
nearly two centuries of Swabian tenure, the Minho was the 
best organized and developed of all of the parts of northwest 
Iberia. 27 

Braga, situated in a fertile valley in the central Minho, had 

24 Antonio Dominguez Ortiz, "La Poblacion espanola a lo largo de 
nuestra historia," Boletin de la Real Sociedad Geogrdfica, LXXXVI, Nos. 
4-6 (April-June, 1950), 266. 

25 Velozo, "A Lusitania Suevico-BIzantina," Bracara Augusta, II, No. 2 
(July, 1950), 150. 

26 Torres, "Las Invasiones y los Reinos Germanicos de Espana," Historia 
de Espana, III, 18-19. 

27 Pierre David, Etudes historiques sur la Gdice et le Portugal du VI* 
au XIII* sticle, p. 118. 



been the Roman provincial capital and the ecclesiastical metrop- 
olis. Roads led into it from the south, north, and east. Its 
tradition of authority, its communications and, above all, its 
storehouse quality, recommended it to the Swabians, who made 
It their capital at the outset. They never relinquished it as their 
center, even at the time of their one great expansionist burst 
which carried them across the width of the peninsula and into 
southern France. 2 " It not only had the virtues that had served 
the Romans but for the Swabians it was central to the core of 
their kingdom, which extended from the Bay of Biscay on the 
north, to the Douro River on the south, and from the Atlantic 
Ocean on the west to the Sierra de Ranadoiro, in present As- 
turias on the east, that is, approximately the present Portuguese 
province of the Minho plus the present Spanish province of 
Galicia. If the Swabians made thrusts farther east into Asturias 
thev did not remain to control it. 29 


The area to the south of the Douro River is transitional 
physically. Through most of recorded time this fact has been 
reflected in the culture, for it has exhibited an intermingling of 
northern and southern culture types. Perhaps the transitional 
nature of the area is well indicated by the fact that the four 
dioceses of Lamego, Coimbra, Viseu, and Idanha, during the 
centuries of Germanic kingdoms in Iberia, did not clearly be- 
long to either the north or the south. The fact that control 
shifted back and forth between the Metropolitans of Merida 
and Braga points to the lack of clear orientation. 30 S\vabian 
control and influence came into the area, but not completely or 
even dominantly. At times, their control speared through this 

28 Torres, "Las Invasiones y los Reinos Germanicos de Espana," Historia 
de Espana, III, 31; Velozo, "A Lusitania Suevico-Bizantina," Bracara 
Augusta, II, No. 3 (Oct., 1950), 248-249. 

29 Julio Caro Baroja, Los Pueblos del Norte de la Peninsula iMrica, 
p. 109. 

30 Pierre David, Etudes historiques sur la Galice et le Portugal du VI e 
au Xlll e si&cle, pp. 19-20. 



central region to the Tejo River :;1 and perhaps even beyond, 
but this was temporary and the effects were not lasting. * 


Where the Swabians were dominant, the record of their pres- 
ence remains even today in the types of land holdings. Tacitus, 
speaking of German settlements, said that they were unlike the 
Roman, which had contiguous structures, whereas the Swab- 
ians built houses with an "empty space" about each one: 1 - That 
is to say, the Swabians were accustomed to small holdings. The 
idea of dispersed, small, privately owned farms probably was 
their contribution to the northwest of Iberia, which had pre- 
viously known the collectivism of the castros and the large, 
private estates of the Romans. Today the area of their early 
kingdom, the Minho of Portugal and Galicia of Spain, is a land 
of small proprietors, whereas the country south of the Douro, 
where their influence was attenuated, shows a reflection of this 
fact in present land holdings. The region south of the Tejo, 
where the Swabian influence was virtually absent, is the area 
of greatest concentration of large estates. 

The Swabians, however, were not less than human. In the 
areas under their control, favored individuals took over Roman 
villas and even established new villas of their own. So there 
were large estates for a few individuals, even though the area, 
then as now, was predominantly that of small owners. 


During the period of Swabian dominance the Roman adminis- 
trative structure was not eliminated, nor were other important 
institutions, such as the church. Even during the periods of 

31 Francisco Jose Velozo, "Contribiii^ao Luso-Galaica para a recon- 
quista," Mima, I y No. 2 (May, 1945), 103. See also Abelardo Merino, 
"El RegionaHsmo peninsular y la geografia historica," Boletin de la Real 
Sociedad Geogrdfica, LVIII (1916), 291. 

32 Velozo, "A Lusitania Suevico-Bizantina," Bracara Augusta, II, No. 2 
(July, 1950), 151, 154. 



their paganism or heretical inclinations, they showed considera- 
tion for the ecclesiastical authorities, allowing them to function 
with freedom. For example, Idatius, the Bishop of Aquae Fla- 
viae ( Chaves ) protested bitterly against what he thought to be 
Swabian perfidy. He went to Gaul to complain about it, and 
returned to this Swabian territory to protest loudly and bitterly 
all with impunity. 3 " The conversion of the Swabian Rechi- 
arius, subsequently king, to Catholicism (probably in 447 
A. D.), over fifty years prior to that of Clovis, must also indicate 
that there was great freedom of action for the church and 
sympathetic support by the Swabian authorities." 4 

If the northwest was tolerant of orthodox Catholicism, it was 
also willing to listen to other doctrines; it was a stronghold of 
Manichaean heresy. 35 It was probably the birthplace of Pris- 
cillian, and certainly the great center of Priscillian heresy, 
which actually was less heresy than merely asceticism. What- 
ever it was, the idea swept through the peninsula in the fourth 
century. By the year 400, all of the Galician bishops except two 
were Priscillianists and Braga was the headquarters of the dis- 
sent, but by 563 it had virtually disappeared as a publicly held 
creed, almost two centuries after Priscillian himself had been 
burned alive at Treves (in 385 or 386) for his heresy." 

Orthodox Catholicism became official under the rule of Rech- 
iarius. Seventeen years later the superficiality of the conversion 
was demonstrated by Swabian acceptance of the Arian creed 
as part of an international marriage agreement arranged by 
Theodoric, the Visigothic king, and Remismund, the king of 
the Swabians. 37 Arianism, too, was dropped after the middle of 
the century, when the orthodox belief was accepted again, this 

33 IfczU, No. 3 (Oct., 1950), 250-252; No. 4 (Feb., 1951), 398. 

34 Sergio Silva Pinto, "O Bispo de Braga, Balconio e a primeira con- 
versao dos Suevos," Braga, Boletim do Arquivo Municipal, I, No. 13 
(Dec., 1949), 407-416; also Velozo, "A Lusitania Suevico-Bizantina," 
Bracara Augusta, II, No. 2 (July, 1950), 250. 

35 Velozo, "A Lusitania Suevico-Bizantina," Bracara Augusta, II, No. 4 
(Feb., 1951), 397. 

36 H. V. Livermore, A History of Portugal, pp. 13-14. 

37 Torres, "Las Invasiones y los Reinos Germanicos de Espana," Historia 
de Espana, III, 37. 



time permanently, about thirty years earlier than the decision 
of the Visigoths to accept Catholicism." 6 

The Minho Province of North Portugal appears immediately 
as distinct from all other provinces of Portugal. It resembles 
only one other part of the peninsula, Galicia, which, with the 
present Minho, formed the great bulk of the Swabian kingdom. 
Certainly the landscapes of the formerly Swabian lands have a 
personality immediately apparent. More than this, their per- 
sonality is felt to be even more impressive when one lives in 
the area and observes the quality of life that in so many ways 
is to be credited to the Germanic folk. 

35 Ibid., p. 39. 




Moslem Domination 


OR ALMOST two centuries, until 585 A.D., the 
Swabians maintained their kingdom in the northwest, 
while the Visigoths controlled the remainder of the 
peninsula. The Swabian area was remote, obscure 
country, as it has been throughout virtually all of its history, 
and the Visigoths had little interest in it. This is perhaps fit- 
tingly expressed by the letter of Braulius of Saragossa to St. 
Fructuosus of Braga: "Do not think yourself worthy of scorn 
because you are relegated to the extremity of the west in an 
ignorant country, as you say, where naught is heard but the 
sound of tempests, . . ." l Near the end of the sixth century the 
Visigoths, hard-pressed by rebellious Swabians, removed that 
thorn in their sides by putting an end to Swabian independ- 
ence. The little kingdom, which had occupied but a small part 
of the Iberian peninsula, was absorbed by the Visigothic state. 
Actually, the ways of life in the northwest were little altered 
by this fact except for whatever involvement it caused in the 
devious and violent politics of Toledo. For the most part, inso- 

1 H. V. Livermore, A History of Portugal, p. 25. 



far as there is a record of the matter, the remote west was not 
greatly involved in the bloody, feudal struggle, always near the 
surface in Visigothic affairs. 

By the year 711, the condition of affairs within the Iberian 
Peninsula was such that the success of almost any well-organ- 
ized body of men bent upon conquest was a foregone conclu- 
sion. It should be a surprise to no one that it occurred, but 
perhaps one might wonder why it had not occurred some time 
earlier. The incredibly easy Moslem conquest of the whole 
peninsula, except for small areas in the northwest undesirable 
to Africans, can be explained only in part by their fervor and 
organization. The Visigothic kingdom had been dreadfully 
pauperized, materially and in spirit, by the continuous internal 
conflict between king and nobles or between Catholicism, 
Arianism, and the Jews. 2 Added to this confusion was a general 
restiveness, due to the gradual disappearance of small prop- 
erties. Such change and its accompanying economic maladjust- 
ment had been brought about by the necessary grouping 
around feudal strongholds in times of persistent warfare. 3 

The immediate cause of Moslem entry into Iberia and its 
original success was due to the bitterness engendered when the 
Visigothic nobles rejected the claims of the family of King 
Vitiza to hereditary rights. Rebelling against the decision of the 
nobles, the Vitiza party probably by the intervention of Arch- 
bishop Oppa, brother of Vitiza invited Tarik, the leader of the 
Moslem forces, to land on the Iberian shore to fight in their 
cause. Rodrigo, the Visigothic king, not realizing the facts of 
the situation, entrusted two wings of Ms army to Oppa and to 
Oppa's brother, Sisbert. Sanguine because of the numerical 
superiority of his forces, Rodrigo confidently entered the battle, 
only to be betrayed by Oppa and Sisbert. 4 

2 The Byzantine conquest of the south may have been possible because 
of this. 

s F. Newton de Macedo, "O Dominio Germanico," Historia de Portu- 
gal I, 340, 342. 

4 Manuel Torres, "Las Invasiones y los Reinos Germanicos de Espana 
(Anos 409-711)," Historia de Espana, III, 138. 




Tarik, with his relatively small army made up of Berbers, 
swept through the country virtually without opposition, reach- 
ing probably as far as southern Asturias, from where he with- 
drew to the south to meet Muca, the governor of Africa. Muca 
came with an army made up mostly of Arabs. 1 ' Neither he nor 
the Arabs in Africa wanted to miss the opportunities beckon- 
ing to them in Iberia. Tarik and Mua made a second sweep 
through the interior of the peninsula, reaching Astorga where 
Tarik turned back, while Muya continued on to Lugo in present 

The Moslems were amazed by the ease with which they were 
able to sweep through the peninsula in the first years of their 
conquest. However, after the first shock was over Christian 
groups in various parts of the peninsula planned and attempted 
revolts, especially in the west. In 713 a rebellion in Seville was 
aided by the people of Beja, who had received fugitives from 
the first conquest of Seville. 7 The revolt was quickly quelled 
and the Moslems extended their victorious advance through the 
Alentejo of present southern Portugal. By 715, another Moslem 
commander, Abde Alazis, had conquered Evora, Salacia, 
(Alcacer do Sal), and Egitania (Idanha a Velha). Lisbon had 
acceded apparently without a struggle. (Many times in its 
history Lisbon has decided that discretion was the better part 
of valor.) In 716 Abde Alazis pressed into central Portugal, 
where he took Coimbra. Continuing farther to the north he 
entered the present Minho Province. It was here, at the Douro 
River, that he met the first of a series of intransigent cities. 
Portucale (Porto) and then Braga, Tuy, Orense, and Lugo 
tried to oppose him. Their attempts were penalized by the 
destruction of the settlements. 8 

5 David Lopes, "O Dominio Arabe," Historic de Portugal, I, 393. 

6 Claudio Sanchez Albornoz y Menduina, La Espafia Musulmana, I, 
map facing p. 42. Also his "Itinerant) de la conquista por los musul- 
manes," Cuadernos de Historia de Espafia, X, 39, 43-45, 51-55, 57, 64, 69. 

7 Francisco Jose Velozo, "Contribiii^ao Luso-Gakica para a recon- 
quista," Minia, I, No. 2 (May, 1945), 108. 

8 Francisco Jose Velozo, "Ainda a contribiiigao Luso-Galaica para a 



The rebellious cities represented a spirit, rather than prep- 
aration. Certainly their resistance gave little pause to the sweep 
of conquest, but it was a harbinger of tilings to come. The 
northwest was not only psychologically constituted to resist the 
African invaders but and this was of much greater importance 
it was geographically distant from the center of Moslem 


Furthermore and also of fundamental importance it is not 
the kind of country and climate to attract either Arabs or Ber- 
bers. Of all the regions of Iberia this probably would be the 
least attractive to them. It is the rainiest lowland area of the 
peninsula (Fig. 6). That they had little or no interest in it is 
indicated by a diploma of Ordono II, of the 29th of January, 

915 A. D,, which states that the territory of the diocese of Iria 

7 * 

that is, all or most of the present province of La Coruiia, plus a 
contiguous band of Pontevedra was never occupied by Mos- 
lems, although there had been some thrusts into it. The same 
fact is borne out by the Chronicle of Alfonso III, which ex- 
cludes Iria Flavia in the enumeration of the cities taken from 
the Moslems by Alfonso I. As an additional proof, when the 
bishops of Lamego and Tiiy fled from their homes to escape 
the Moslem invasion, they came as refugees to the diocese of 
Iria and were there given sufficient lands for their support. 9 In 
all ways it was better situated for revolt than most of the rest 
of the peninsula; this is demonstrated by the fact that the Mos- 
lems held no territory beyond the Douro River after the first 
two generations following the conquest. None of the forays that 
they made into the territory had lasting results. 10 Changes that 
were brought about in North Portugal by the Moslems were 

reconquista. A primeira invasao de Entre-Douro-e-Minho pelos Arabes/* 
Braga, Boletim do Arquivo Municipal, I, No. 12 (Aug., 1949), 318. 

& Velozo, "Contribuigao Luso-Galaico para a reconquista/* Minia, I, 
No. 3 (Dec., 1946), 235. 

10 Particularly notable were those of al-Mansur (Abu Amir Mafamede) 
in the last quarter of the tenth century. 



mostly Indirect. The threat of possible attack effected a trans- 
formation of the Christian lands into siege areas which altered 
political and social conditions, especially in the urban centers. 
The countryside was less affected, indeed, in many places 
hardly at all. 


The area of present Portugal pre-eminently to the taste of 
the Moslems was the dry south, below the Tejo River, the 
present Portuguese provinces of the Alentejo and, especially, 
the Algarve, 11 with its climate more African than European 
and with fine opportunities for irrigation. The Romans had also 
preferred this Mediterranean area, although they had shown 
no marked interest in most of Portugal. The Arabs had more 
than casual interest. Although they did not introduce irrigation, 
they elaborated it greatly. 12 Moslems from Egypt were settled 
near Faro (on the south coast) and in Beja (of the Alentejo)/ 3 
and Yemenite Arabs built the lovely city of Silves amidst gar- 
dens and orchards in the Algarve. 14 Here, particularly, is the 
Moslem stamp strong upon the country today. 

Middle Portugal, the country between the Douro and the 
Tejo, fulfilled its long-time function as a transition area during 
the Moslem period also. It was a battleground throughout the 
centuries. Wherever the armies marched there was desolation. 
Fortunately, due to its broken terrain, armies were limited to 
specific routes and ordinarily did not deviate greatly from them. 
Roadway areas and cities were damaged, but it is improbable 
that the independent, small farms of the hills were reduced in 
productivity, although their owners, at times, may have been 
oppressed by levies. Certain areas had an especial appeal for 
the Arabs, notably the lower valley of the Mondego River, near 

11 Al-Gharb the west that is, the westernmost part of Moslem 
dominions in Europe. 

12 Antonio Jorge Dias, Aparelhos de elevar a Agua de Rega y pp. 180 
et seq. 

13 Lopes, "O Dominio Arabe," Historia de Portugal, I, 407. 

J * Abu-Abd-Alla-Mohamed-al-Edrisi, Description de Espana, pp. 16-17. 



the city of Coimbra, 1 '"' an area where the great "Persian" water 
wheels are still in use. Another area of attraction for them \vas 
the Tejo Valley between Lisbon and Santarem. Edrisi speaks 
of the prodigious harvests of grain there. 10 

Near the Guadiana River, just beyond the present Portuguese 
border, is Merida, the Roman provincial capital which was 
maintained by the Visigoths. The Arabs were awed by its 
splendor when they first saw it; 1T yet ultimately it did not meet 
their requirements. They preferred a small settlement on the 
broad flood plain of the Guadiana, which offered a greater op- 
portunity for the expansion of irrigation. Here an upstart out 
of the northwest, Ibn Jalaqui (which means son of Galicia), 
established an independent kingdom, with its capital in the 
newly selected site of present Badajoz. He not only established 
a new kingdom, but a dynasty that lasted from 875 to 930. He 
founded a new religion ( a combination of Islam and Christian- 
ity) and made friends of the Christian princes, especially of 
Alfonso III (the Great), king of Leon. 18 This development 
marked the decline of Merida, 19 which reached its nadir prior 
to the time of Edrisi, who referred to its interesting "vestiges." 20 
It remained obscure until comparatively modern times. 

Lisbon is mentioned but briefly in the Moslem records of the 
time." 1 That it was a city of importance is not to be doubted. 
Edrisi reported it as being a charming place, protected by a 
castle and surrounded by walls, 32 large portions of which re- 
main today, as does much of the castle. But it did not have the 
supremacy among Portuguese cities that it enjoys now. Alcacer 
do Sal, less than fifty miles to the southeast, is now a pleasant 

15 Ibid., p. 20. 
^ Ibid., p. 22-23. 

17 Louis Bertrand, The History of Spain, p. 4. 

18 Francisco Jose Velozo, "As Origens Nacionais de Portugal e de 
Espanha e o domfnio Isl&mico na peninsula/' Reprint from the journal 
Gil Vicente, p. 9. 

19 Evariste Levi-Provengal, Hlstoire de TEspagne musulmane, III, 350- 

20 Edrisi, Description de Espana, p. 19. 

21 Levi-Provengal, Histoire de TEspagne musulmane, III, 342. 

22 Edrisi, Description de Espana, p. 20. 



little city of four thousand Inhabitants. Under the Moslems It 
may have been a rival of Lisbon, for it was the port from which 
the vessels of Al-Mansur sailed and about which Edrisi speaks 
fondly, particularly noting its commerce and shipbuilding/' 
For an essentially nonmaritime people, Alcacer do Sal may 
have served in many ways better than Lisbon. The Sado Valley 
presents an open route across the Alentejo, whereas the Tejo 
River is a barrier between Lisbon and the southeast. 

On the whole, as one regards the Moslem history of Portugal, 
he is struck with the relative disinterest in the area when com- 
pared with the concentration upon such areas as the valley of 
the Guadalquivir and the Mediterranean coasts of present 
Spain. The Algarve must have been a delightful place then, as 
it is now, a place of modest endowments made charming by 
the application of skills in the use of the land. There were no 
great areas for tremendous wealth, although, no doubt, there 
were prosperous Moslems living in the cities and towns and on 
their small properties strewn between, probably with houses 
much like those that are to be seen today. Coimbra and the 
Mondego and the Tejo shores between Lisbon and Santarem 
were prosperous and attractive, but by and large Portugal 
continued to fill her role of the country cousin. 

2 *lbid., p. 18. 


The Reconquest of Iberia 


GIQA, one of the last kings of the Goths, had tried to 
establish a dynasty with hereditary 7 rights in place of 
the system of election which had obtained previously. 
He set up a sort of vice-royalty for his son, Vitiza, in 
approximately the territory of the former Swabian kingdom. 1 
The device proved to be effective, for Vitiza succeeded his 
father on the Visigothic throne in Toledo. The next link in the 
dynastic chain would normally have been the assumption of 
authority by Akhila, the son of Vitiza, but events did not dupli- 
cate those of the previous accession. Visigothic nobles rejected 
Akhila and in Ms place elected Rodrigo, the Duke of Cordoba, 
who assumed his throne "tumultuously," 2 in face of the opposi- 
tion and plotting of the family of Akhila. 

Rodrigo was not to have his position for long, however. The 
treachery of the family of Akhila furthered the Moslem con- 

1 This was in 698-702. Ramon Menendez Pidal, Historia de Espana, 
III, H. 

2 Manuel Torres, "Las Invasiones y los Reinos Germanicos de Espana 
(Afios 409-711)/' Historia de Espana, III, 135. 



quest, and after the death of Rodrigo in 711, in the battle which 
opened the peninsula to the Moslems, their services were re- 
warded. Akhila was established as surrogate for the Moslem 
rulers. Isidore of Beja, the first chronicler of the time, does not 
end the list of Visigothic monarchs with Rodrigo, but continues 
with Akhila and then Ardobast. 3 In view of this fact, it may be 
said that the official Goths were Moslem allies. Actually, how- 
ever, not all Christians accepted this relationship, and many 
dissidents took refuge in the north and northwest of the penin- 
sula. 4 One of these refugees, Pelayo, is given credit for the 
origins of the Christian resurgence. 

Traditionally, the reconquest of Iberia from the Moslems 
began with Pelayo "the Goth" and the battle (c. 721) near 
Cangas de Onis, below the Penas de Europa in Asturias. Pelayo 
was a man of the north, or perhaps the northwest." His father, 
the dux Fafila, had been killed in Tuy by Vitiza, 4 '' the man w r ho 
later became king of the Goths. It is obvious that Pelayo had 
no reason to feel affection for the house of Vitiza. From the 
outset he was opposed to both the complacent heirs of Vitiza 
and to the Moslems with whom they had become associated. 
He seems to have been involved in the early revolts in the 
northwest, for he was taken as hostage by Abde Alazis in the 
year 716 to assure the obedient submission of the dissidents 
there. He was taken to Cordoba in the same year, but promptly 
escaped. 7 

For the period after his escape there is a hiatus of several 

3 Francisco Jose Velozo, "As Origens Nacionais de Portugal e de 
Espanha e o domirdo Islamico na peninsula," Reprint from the journal 
Gil Vicente (1951), p. 5. 

4 Ibid., p. 27. 

5 Francisco Jose Velozo, "Alnda a contribiiigao Luso-Galaica para a 
reconquista. A primeira invasao de Entre-Douro-e-Minho pelos Arabes," 
Braga, Boletim do Arquivo Municipal, I, No. 12 (Aug., 1949), 324-328. 

6 Menendez Pidal, Historia de Espana, III, H. 

7 Velozo, "Ainda a contribute, ao Luso-Galaica para a reconquista,** 
Braga, Boletim do Arquivo Municipal, I, No. 12 (Aug., 1949), 324; "As 
Origens Nacionais de Portugal e de Espanha/ 7 Reprint from the journal 
Gil Vicente (1951), p. 31; "Contribuisao Luso-Galaica para a recon- 
quista," Mima, I, No. 3 (Dec., 1946), 228. 



years in our knowledge of his actions and affairs. He is an ob- 
scure figure and the record is far from clear. One Portuguese 
scholar advances an interesting argument with regard to the 
lost years. He suggests that Pelayo spent this time in the north- 
west, in the Portuguese Minlio or Galicia, and not in Asturias 
as commonly believed. 1 * There is some reason for such a belief, 
as Pelayo had formerly lived in the western area. It would have 
been natural for him to return to the place where he was known 
and had friends and where Moslem power had never been 
established. This seems a possibility, particularly in view of the 
fact that Asturias, the commonly accepted place of his refuge, 
was held during those years by the Berber, Munuca, who had 
his headquarters at Gijon u in Asturias. Furthermore, the Arab 
historian, Ibne Idari, referred to the refuge of Pelayo and his 
small group of supporters as being in the mountains of Galicia, 
and the chronicle of Alfonso III attests that the conquest of 
Asturias was made by men from the west and that the counts 
from the west and their men were mostly Swabians and not 
Goths. 10 

Also obscure are the original intentions of Pelayo. The idea, 
which has been so widely accepted, that he was imbued with 
the desire to free Iberia from the Moslem yoke is almost cer- 
tainly manufactured to suit a national mythology, but his re- 

s Velozo, "Contribiiicao Luso-Galaica para a reconquista," Minia, I, 
No. 3 (Dec., 1946), 235. 

9 Velozo, "As Origens Nationals de Portugal e de Espanha," Reprint 
from the journal Gil Vicente (1951), p. 36. 

10 Velozo, "Contribiiicao Luso-Galaica para a reconquista," Minia, I, 
No. 3 (Dec., 1946), 235. The Arab historian Almacari speaks definitely 
of the invasion of Galicia by the Arab Muca in 716 and the conquest of 
Viseu in present Portugal. Velozo, "Contribuicao Luso-Galaica para a 
reconquista," Minia, I, No. 2 (May, 1945), 110-111. Muca also con- 
quered Lugo in middle Galicia and ordered "explorations that arrived at 
the Penha de Pelayo." Velozo thinks that the Penha de Pelayo can be 
located not far from Lugo, \\ithin the triangle Cape Finisterre, Padron 
(ancient Iria Flavia), and La Coruna, that is, in the extreme northwest 
area of the peninsula, bordering the Atlantic. Velozo, "As Origens 
Nacionais de Portugal e de Espanha," Reprint from the journal Gil 
Vicente (1951), p. 26. 



sentment against the Moslems, and the Vitizana dynasty allied 
with them, can hardly be doubted. It is possible that simply 
this resentment led him to stubborn and perhaps planless op- 
position. Or he may have envisaged a re-establishment of the 
political unit he had known in the northwest under Vitiza, 
essentially the territory of the Swabian kingdom. Whatever 
may have been his reasons, they had less to do with his success 
and that of subsequent Christian monarchs than did the oppor- 
tunities offered by the Moslems themselves, opportunities too 

obviously favorable to be overlooked. 

The pristine Moslem enthusiasm for their cause was greatly 
diminished in the early years following the conquest. The Ber- 
bers, especially, were dissatisfied with Arab rule. Munua, of 
Gijon, was one of the dissidents, as was shown by his ultimate 
willingness to make bargains with the Christians against the 
interests of the Arabs. That he was not alone in his feelings was 
shown by other revolts. If it had not been for this sentiment, 
the forces of Pelayo might not have been able to win the 
skirmish in Asturias. 11 


The whereabouts of Pelayo became a matter of record again 
at the time of the so-called battle of Covadonga which took 
place near Cangas de Onis in present Asturias. Although this 
affair has been greatly romanticized since its occurrence and 
perhaps should not be termed a battle at all, there was a 
skirmish, sometime between the years 721 and 725, 1 " and Pe- 
layo's group may have included as many as three hundred 
men. 13 His forces are said to have emerged victorious, although 
perhaps the Moslems would not have concurred in this judg- 
ment. It seems that Pelayo used the hit-and-run tactics common 


to the Portuguese area and especially notable under the Lusi- 

11 Ibid., p. 38. 

12 Damiao Peres, "A Reconquista Crista," Historia de Portugal, I, 436. 

13 Velozo, "As Origens Naclonais de Portugal e de Espanha," Reprint 
from the journal Gil Vicente (1951), pp. 22, 55. 



tanians. His forces damaged the Moslem contingent and then 
took refuge in the hills. The Moslems may well have taken this 
to be a retreat and credited themselves with the victory. 

Subsequent to this fracas little is known of Pelayo, and his 
successor, Fafila, 14 was obscure. It was the third in this line who 
most distinguished himself as a conqueror. This was Pelayo's 
son-in-law, who became known to history as Alfonso I (739- 
757 ) 15 and who is famous for his great extension of Christian 
control. His successes, however, like those of his father-in-law, 
are to be credited only partly to his valor and to that of his 
followers. Several events of importance, contributory to his 
success, had taken place in the early years of his reign. First, 
Berbers in Africa had revolted against Arab domination, and 
this action had inspired the restive Berbers of northern Iberia 
to do the same. They marched south against Cordoba in 739 
and left the northern territory largely undefended. 1 " 

The historical record for the period has many blank pages. 
We know that there was a famine and plague which may have 
been caused by warfare. However, as there has never been a 
large food surplus in this area and living has been successful 
only through frugality, it might be expected that difficulties 
would ensue through the Moslem conquest. Disruption would 
have been caused by the most understanding of conquerors, 
and the Berbers were hardly this. Their home environment, 
diametrically different from that of northern Iberia, gave them 
little grasp of the local economy and requirements. 


Between 751 and 754, Alfonso I took Chaves, Braga, Porto, 
Viseu and other settlements and castles. 17 Then he continued 
his conquest by taking Astorga, Leon, Zamora, Salamanca, 

14 Pierre David, Etudes historiques sur la Galice et le Portugal du VI e 
au XIIl e decle, p. 32. 

13 Peres, "A Reconquista Crista/' Historia de Portugal, I, 436. 

16 Torquato de Sousa Scares, "O Repovoamento do Norte de Portugal 
no seculo IX," Congresso do Mundo Portugues, II (1940), 396. 

11 Loc. dt. 



Simancas, Avila, and Miranda de Ebro. 18 To accomplish these 
victories, he had made thrusts through most of the northern 
meseta, and such a conquest was too rapid to be permanent. 
Alfonso realized this fact, and to protect the weak frontier he 
decided to strengthen the Asturian nucleus. To do so lie created 
a politically impotent zone south of Asturias extending to the 
Duero River. The Chronicon Sebastiani says that he killed the 
Arabs of the cities and that he removed the Christians, taking 
them back to Asturias with him. 19 The Chronicon Albedeme 
reports that he desolated the lands down to the Duero River. 20 
The view that a desert waste was literally created was ac- 
cepted by Herculano, and thus until recently found almost 
universal acceptance in Iberia. It is still defended by many 
historians. For example, Sanchez Albornoz 21 brilliantly cata- 
logues the breakdown of civil and religious authority and insti- 
tutions, and his proof is beyond cavil. However, his assumption 
that this collapse indicates desertion of the land by the self- 
sufficient small peasant farmers is in no way demonstrated. 
His contention 22 that a great band of desert was created from 
the Atlantic to the Ebro and that depopulation was complete 
cannot be accepted. The statements to this effect by early 
chroniclers, upon which he depends, were obviously hyperbole. 
Nor can his later statement, 23 that the interruption of life on 
the meseta was absolute, be accepted, although the desertion 
of lands on the meseta of present Spain was undoubtedly far 
greater than that in the mountainous Portuguese north. 24 

18 Peres, "A Reconquista Crista," Historia de Portugal, I, 436. 

19 Scares, "O Repovoamento do Norte de Portugal/' Congresso do 
Mundo Portugues, II (1940), 396. 

20 Peres, "A Reconquista Crista," Historia de Portugal, I, 436. 

21 Claudio Sanchez Albornoz y Menduina, Ruina y extincion del muni- 
cipio romano en Espana e instituciones que le reemplazan, p. 120. 

22 Ibid., p. 120. 

23 Ibid., p. 124. 

2 * Sanchez Albornoz is not alone in these beliefs. See, for example, 
Amando Melon y Ruiz de Gordejuela, Geografia historica espanola, I, 
223-225. Antonio Jorge Bias, in his Rio de Onor, Chap. I, Note 52, p. 40, 
has a useful summary of the various positions taken in this argument by 
various scholars. 



The opponents of such a literal acceptance of the early 
chronicles base their opinions upon facts which the proponents 
do not take into consideration (or at least do not mention). 
Alberto Sampaio a3 pointed out that the Christians of the zone 
of "desert" could not have been taken back to Asturias. It would 
have been impossible to move that many people into Asturias 
and to support them there. Undoubtedly individuals followed 
the king back to the north, including, perhaps, all of the Chris- 
tian city dwellers, but the great majority must have remained. 20 
These would have been the country people, most of them iso- 
lated from the main routes. 

The terms "desert" and "uninhabited land" can be accepted 
In only a limited sense. The statement of the Chronicon that 
Alfonso eliminated the cities is reasonable. This would have 
been a logical procedure, for they were not only nodal points 
of communication but forts as well. But the suggestion that 
the individual farmers, scattered across the hilly countryside of 
North Portugal, could have been eliminated completely strains 
credulity. The area has always been one of country people 
rather than one of town dwellers. Armies do not scatter over 
the land. They march along roads and fight for key points 
cities. As both cities and roads were few in North Portugal, 
the "desolation" was more strategic and political than human. 

David describes the conditions of a later period when peas- 
ants in France, similarly circumstanced, remained on the land. 27 
That the same thing occurred in the Minho is indicated by the 
typical peasant practices of the area which have their roots in 
ancient times, long predating the period of the so-called deso- 
lation. Undoubtedly contributing to the continuity was the re- 
membrance of the church and of holy places. Even though 
many churches and monasteries were in ruins, the evidence 
is plain that they remained places of veneration, for with the 
re-establishment of the institutional framework, the rebuilt 

- 3 Alberto Sampaio, "As Vilas do Norte de Portugal," Estudos historicos 
e economicos, I, Pt 1, 54. 

2G A. A. Mendes Correa, Raizes de Portugal, pp. 16-18, 80-81. 
27 David, Etudes histariques, p. 171. 



churches were given their saints' names of the Roman period. 
New settlers were taken into the old religious framework of the 
primitive parishes, marked by the church and the cemetery.- 8 
In terms of politics, however, it was an empty land. Cities, 
the political nerve centers, were eliminated. So, in the struggle 
for power, the politically unimportant area of small fanners 
was a "desert" in the eyes of ambitious men. This condition of 
political "desolation" between the Minho and Douro rivers in 
Portugal lasted for about a century. 21 ' 


Alfonso II asked for and received aid from Charlemagne in 
795. The aid of the Franks made possible Alfonso's advance 
into Middle Portugal, which reached at least as far as Lisbon. 
Relieved of the Moslem threat on the south, urban life began 
to take form again in the Douro-to-Minho region. In 840 the 
king met with a council of counts and bishops in Guimaraes 
to promote the settlement of these "desolated" lands. From 
Guimaraes they went to Braga to consider its restoration. Nodi- 
ing was done immediately, for a document of 841 mentions the 
"great decay of the place," 30 and the Metropolitan of Braga 
fulfilled the obligations of his office in Lugo, 31 Perhaps their 
intentions to resettle were thwarted by the considerable diffi- 
culties of the decade 840-850, with its internal revolts in the 
northwest and Norman attacks on the coasts. 32 

Temporarily the trend toward the re-establishment of cities 
languished, but during the reign of Alfonso's successor, Ordofio 
I (850-860), another start was made. It was during this period 
that Tuy, on the lower Minho River, was re-established." 3 Al- 

28 Pierre David, "Les Saints Patrons d'eglises entre Minho et Mondego 
jusqu'a la fin du XI e siecle," Revista Portuguesa de Historia, II (1943), 

29 Damiao Peres, Como nasceu Portugal, p. 38. 

30 Peres, "A Reconquista Crista," Hitforia de Portugal, I, 441. 

31 David, Etudes historiques, pp. 123-124, 128. 

32 Peres, "A Reconquista Crista," Historia de Portugal, I, 441. 

33 Peres, Como nasceu Portugal, p. 38. 



fonso III (866-910) continued the policy of resettlement with 
even more vigor than that of his predecessors." 4 He ordered the 
re-establishment of Porto," 5 which was done in 868, largely by 
refugees from Coinibra. After this event the area to the north 
was repopulated. 30 That this re-establishment was accomplished 
out of Coimbra and Porto is of fundamental importance for the 
later Portuguese national state. 


The resettlement of the north was made in the "desert" zone, 
which had had no political affiliation for over a century and 
had severed its economic ties with Galicia and Leon. Politically 
and economically, this zone started afresh with new alignments, 
whereas Galicia had had an unbroken tradition of adherence 
to the Leonese kingdom of the Iberian plateau. The cultural 

34 Peres, "A Reconquista Crista," Historia de Portugal, I, 441. 

35 David, Etudes historiques, p. 159. Porto is the ancient Portus Gale 
on the Douro River. Calem was probably a Lusitanian citdnia that later 
was used by the Romans as a place of embarkation, hence the prefix 
portus. See J. Augusto Ferreira, Memorias Archaeologico-historicas da 
Cidade do Porto, I, 11. The Itinerary of Antoninus placed it on the left 
bank of the river, in the approximate location of the present Vila Nova 
de Gaia. H. Lautensach, "Portugal: Auf Grund eigener Reisen und der 
Literatur." L "Das Land als Ganzes," Petermanns Mitteilungen, No. 213 
(1932), 1. Leite de Vasconcellos thought that it was probably on the 
right bank, in the approximate place of the present Porto. J. Leite de 
Vasconcellos, "Delimitacao da fronteira Portuguesa," Boletim da Classe 
de Letras, XIII (1918-1919), 1279. The Swabian parochiale seems to 
place Roman Portucale to the south of the Douro, Portucale on the north 
being Swabian. David, Etudes historiques, p. 79. During the period of 
Swabian rule, the bishop Idatius distinguished the unfortified Portucale 
locum on the right bank from castrum on the south bank, which was a 
fortified place on an eminence. Ferreira, Memorias Archaeologico-his- 
toricas da Cidade do Porto, I, 11. In the twelfth century there seems to 
have been a settlement on the left bank. Charles Wendell David, De 
Expugnatione Lyxbonensi, p. 67. This, of course, does not rule out the 
probability of the complementary settlement on the other side of the river. 

Anciently and persistently there has been a tendency for the develop- 
ment of settlements facing each other across the Douro. The position on 
the river, as a crossing place, has had enduring importance. 

36 "Repopulated" here means the re-establishment of cities and com- 


similarity between Galicia and the north of Portugal remained, 
but there was a new economic focus and a consciousness of 
difference, beginning at the north border of the formerly "de- 
serted" zone, the line of the lower Minho River. 
^ In a Guimaraes document of 841 there is reference to the 
"Provincia Portucalense," tacitly underlining the special char- 
acter of the area south of the Minho River, the southern section 
of the former Swabian realm, the germ of the future Portugal." 7 
Thus the present province of the Minho, plus extensions south- 
ward, was recognized as a place apart, one with distinct per- 
sonality. In a document of Alfonso III, of 883, the name "Portu- 
gal" was used to identify the Minho-to-Douro lands. The term 
"Galicia" was restricted to the area to the north of the Minho 
Riveiv' 18 Another document, of 938, uses the term "Portugal" in 
this precise sense. One of 959 describes Galicia as being only 
to the north of the Minho River: 19 In the middle of the follow- 
ing century, documents refer to Portugal as one of the parts of 
the kingdom of Leon, but as being distinct from Galicia. It 
seems quite clear that for people of that period the area of 
present northwest Portugal was distinct from the area of present 
Galicia, to the north of the Minho River. This is not surprising 
in view of the fact that the "desert" of Alfonso existed still in 
part of the present Portuguese lands, making an economic 
separation between the organized area of Galicia and the area 
being organized out of the south. 

The resettlement of the region of the present province of 
Minho was not accomplished suddenly. As late as the eleventh 
century the term Portugal usually referred to the lands between 
the Mondego and Lima rivers, including the cities of Coimbra, 
Porto, Braga, Guimaraes, and Barcelos. 40 It must be remem- 
bered that the resettlement of the "desert" started with the 
re-establishment of Porto by men from Coimbra. Out of Porto 

3T Alberto Sampaio, quoted by Damiao Peres, "Origens da nacionali- 
dade," Congresso do Mundo Portugues, II, 33. 

38 Ibid., p. 15. 

39 Peres, "Origens da nacionalidade," Congresso do Mundo Portugu&s, 
II, 16. 

40 David, Etudes historiques, p. 332. 



the settlement of the cities to the north was effected. As late 
as the early part of the eleventh century the northern part of 
present Portugal, the territory lying between the Lima and 
Minho rivers, had not been effectively resettled. Nor had the 
present province of Tras-os-Montes become a part of the north- 
western nucleus. It remained remote from the martial and po- 
litical events affecting the lowland area to the west and the 
meseta to the east. Even in the early twelfth century it was 
politically outside of the incipient Portuguese state, although 
its south and west sections were within the orbit of Portuguese 
economic affairs. But by the middle of the following century 
all of the province had become an integral part of Portuguese 
territory. 41 


The northwest, which had lived with a large degree of iso- 
lation and self-sufficiency, had problems of its own that it was 
forced to meet in its own way. Norman 42 attacks which began 
in the ninth century were repeated and became especially 
troublesome during the tenth and early eleventh centuries. In 
968 there was a great raid, and in 1016 43 an especially vicious 
attack destroyed Tuy completely. Against these attacks the 
problem of defense was local, for the Leonese king and his 
forces were too remote, and usually too occupied, to offer aid. 
The local barons had to maintain themselves, and the self- 
sufficiency engendered by such demands upon their courage 
and resourcefulness added to the ideas of rebellion common to 
the times. 

Even before the devastation and weakening of Leon by al- 
Mansur in the last of the tenth century, attempts had been 
made by local barons of Galicia to throw off Leonese control. 
In the last half of the tenth century they rebelled against 

41 Conde de Sao Payo (D. Antonio), "Esbogo da carta historica de 
Provincia de Tras-os-Montes (seculos XIII a XIX)," Congresso do Mundo 
Portugues, II, 421-433. 

42 That is, "northmen," including various Scandinavians. 

43 Ramon Menendez Pidal, La Espana del Cid, p. 68. 



Ordono III, 44 and in 1031 other revolts in Galicia against the 
king of Leon were aided by the king of Navarra. 4r> By the end 
of the eleventh century the sense of independence had grown 
so lustily that in 1071 the barons of Entre-Douro-e-Minho 
(Minho Province) revolted against King Garcia of the ephem- 
eral kingdom of Galicia. 40 This revolt was a precursor of the 
one of 1128 when Affonso (or Afonso) Henriques took the 
successful step toward Portuguese independence. The barons 
might well have advanced the day of Portuguese independence 
by three generations had it not been for the opposition of 
Sesnando, Count of Coimbra. Because of his opposition, the 
barons were squeezed between two forces and defeated. 47 

The remote, increasingly self-sufficient northwest was an 
obvious candidate for separatism. If means had not been found 
to avoid it in Galicia, that section of Iberia would almost surely 
have been lost to Spain, as Portugal was ultimately lost. A de- 
vice that probably can be credited with maintaining the bonds 
between Galicia and the meseta kingdoms was suggested, per- 
haps quite fortuitously, by the church. This was the establish- 
ment and development of the pilgrimage to Santiago de Com- 
postela along the route from France across north Spain. 


The rebelliousness of the northwest had been not only polit- 
ical but also religious. This part of Iberia had long been restless 
and independently disposed toward Rome (note earlier refer- 
ences to the Priscillianist and Manichaean heresies in Chapter 
9 ) . This sense of detachment from the remainder of Iberia was 
largely dissipated in Galicia by the development of the pilgrim- 
age to the supposed Iberian resting place of the remains of 

44 Peres, "A Reconquista Crista," Historia de Portugal, I, 454. 

45 Menendez Pidal, La Espana del Cid, p. 68. 

46 Peres, "A Reconquista Crista," Historia de Portugal, I, 366. 

47 Sesnando was the son of a wealthy mozarabe who became vizier to 
the Emir of Seville. He transferred his allegiance to Ferdinand the Great 
and was rewarded by territory south of the Douro River. Alexandre 
Herculano, Historia de Portugal (7th ed.), p. 10. 



St. James, the first reference to which was made in the ninth 
century. 4 " 

Although the pilgrimage was started only in the ninth cen- 
tury, by the end of that century it was well known in Iberia. 
Alfonso III (the Great) came with all of his family. In the 
tenth century pilgrims came from as far as Egypt and Nubia. 
By the eleventh century the great movement was thoroughly 
established. 49 In the twelfth century further efforts were made 
by the monks of Cluny and by Diego Gelmirez, Archbishop of 
Santiago, and the pilgrimage became one of the most famous 
tourist enterprises of all time.'" 10 

The intermingling of religious and political purposes is indi- 
cated by the relations of the leading figures to each other. 
Calixtus II was a member of a noble Burgundian family, and 
was chosen Pope at Cluny. As Pope, with support from Cluny, 
at that time the chief center of religious influence throughout 
Western Europe, his support of the pilgrimage was an impor- 
tant factor. His decisions may have been influenced by the fact 
that Raymond, Count of Galicia, had been his brother, 51 as 
well as the son-in-law of Alfonso VI ( see below ) . 


The rebellious northwest was an obvious and great problem 
for the king, but it was not his only problem. Conditions in the 
remainder of the peninsula had been growing worse for Leon 
during the centuries. These tangled affairs of the peninsula in 
general had a decisive bearing upon the achievement of Portu- 
guese independence. 

Along the Duero River, in present Spain, where Alfonso I 
had created the strategic "defensive desert" between the Cali- 
phate and the kingdom of Asturias, the desolation of the open 

48 Georgiana G. King, The Way of Saint James, I, 48-49, 58-59, 62, 93. 

49 Ibid., p. 99. 

30 Marques de la Vega Inclan, Guia del Viaje a Santiago, V, 7. 
51 Ibid., p. 11. 



meseta lands was undoubtedly far greater than that of Xorth 
and Middle Portugal. In the broken terrain of Portugal it was 
not difficult for individual farmers to remain; the case was 
otherwise in the open plateau. Even in prehistoric times the 
destruction of forests had been largely accomplished on the 
meseta;^ During the period of the reconquest the advancing 
Christians., for strategic reasons, eliminated most of the remain- 
ing trees and woody growth. It was not a useful refuge area;" 3 


During the last half of the ninth and the early tenth cen- 
turies, resettlement was begun on the meseta. The southern 
part of the province of Leon was repopulated mostly by Ga- 
lician and Asturian colonists. 54 This fact, undoubtedly, had an 
influence upon the later alliance of Galicia with the meseta 
kingdoms. North Portugal, as was pointed out above, was re- 
settled out of the south. This is an important difference and 
casts more light upon the ultimate separation of Galicia and 

On the meseta the course of resettlement was less smooth 
than in the remote west. During most of the tenth century 
Moslem influence was dominant, either by reason of its vigor 
or because of Christian inefflcacy. The Leonese kings seem to 
have been thoroughly unexceptional. In company with the 
rulers of Navarra, the counts of the Marca (Catalonia), the 
great counts of Castile, and even those of Galicia," they were 
continually found at the court of the Caliphs, both to pay their 
respects and to receive information about external and even 

52 Hermann Lautensach, "Die Iberische Halbinsel als Schauplatz der 
geschichtlichen Bewegung," Zeitschrift der Gesellschaft fur Erdkunde su 
Berlin, Nos. 3/4 (June, 1948), 104. 

53 Although betokening the tenacity with which peasants cling to then- 
land, it seems probable that even during the long centuries of recurrent 
disaster it was never completely uninhabited. 

54 Menendez Pidal, La Espana del Cid, p. 54. 

55 One may safely assume that the northwest, never an area of interest 
to the Moslems, was less influenced by this political situation than were 
other Christian areas. 



internal affairs of their own domains. The focus of much of 
Iberia was upon Cordoba; 1 ' 5 and the Moslems certainly were not 
interested in Christian resettlement. 

That this subservience of the Christians to the Moslems 
diminished in the last half of the century is made apparent by 
revolts and the strenuous efforts of al-Mansur to quell them. 
In a series of thrusts through Iberia, he slashed the country- 
side through which his armies passed, leveling any cities that 
resisted. Even the remote northwest was involved, for a re- 
volt there brought him through southwest Spain, up through 
Coimbra (which lie destroyed in 9S7), 57 Viseu, and to Porto, 
where he met his fleet, which had sailed from the presently 
named Alcacer do Sal. From Porto the combined forces 
marched northward to Galicia. Near Vigo, a few stalwarts set 
up a brief opposition, but it was a minor incident in the victori- 
ous march of al-Mansur. From there they continued to San- 
tiago de Compostela, which was sacked and burned. 58 All along 
the route destruction was the price of resistance, but the cities 
of present Portugal, for the most part, chose discretion as the 
better part of valor and, as they submitted without resistance, 
were not damaged. The Portuguese counts of the northern 
province, lying between the Douro and Minho rivers, sub- 
mitted as allies. 59 In general, by choosing non-resistance, Portu- 
gal saved itself from the destruction that was wrought upon 
the resisters, and especially upon Leon. 


Leon was the strongest opponent of the Moslems and thus 
the center of their attack in several campaigns. Not only were 
cities sacked and burned, but the desolation of the farms and 

Menendez Pidal, La Espana del Cid, p. 36. 

57 It was leveled so completely that for seven years afterward there 
was no occupation of the site, according to the Chronicon Conimbricense. 
Quoted in Evariste Levi-Proven^al, Histoire de TEspagne musulmane, II, 

58 Ibid., p. 249. 

59 Loc. cit. 



groves was frightful. 00 Nevertheless, even after these afflictions, 
Leon remained the most powerful of the Christian kingdoms 
in the early eleventh century. 01 But the bell was beginning to 
toll. The blows of the Moslems had been debilitating * J3 and 
constituted an important reason for its decline. Other reasons 
for decline are harder to assess but, without doubt, they were 
of importance. For example, the rigidity of customs and law 
was such that it was impossible for Leon to adjust to the chang- 
ing times. The old Visigothic law, the Fuero Juzgo, was grimly 
applied, even though it failed to fit the conditions of this 
revolutionary situation. Nor did the Visigothic bequest of un- 
predictable regal succession help matters. 03 It led to internal 
tensions and spawned revolts, when unanimity of purpose might 
have saved the kingdom. 

Castile, on the other hand, largely discarded the Visigothic 
regulations wherever they failed to be suitable, and thus made 
its whole political structure more resilient and adjustable. 
Castilian judges, beginning with the early tenth century, began 
basing their judgments upon local customs, rather than on the 
Fuero Juzgo.^ This attitude, coupled with the fact that Castile 
was not the center of Moslem attack and suffered less than 
Leon in battle, led to its increasing political importance. 

Some relief came to the Christian kingdoms with the death 
of al-Mansur in 1002, which left a political vacuum in Moslem 
territory. The disorder that ensued among Moslems did not 
redound to the benefit of Leon particularly, although it meant 
relief from pressure. Castile was the chief beneficiary. During 
the eleventh century Ferdinand I (1038-1065), king of Castile 
(and ultimately of Galicia, Leon, and Navarra), achieved great 
victories. He reconquered extensive territories from the prince 
of Badajoz and made incursions into the domains of the king 
of Saragossa. He made vassals of the kings of Toledo and Se- 

60 Ibid., pp. 234-249. 

61 Menendez Pidal, La Espana del Cid. p. 40. 
lbid., p. 65. 

63 IfcidL, pp. 66-68. 
**lbid. 9 p. 55, 



ville. By 1054 he had everything from Galicia to the Ebro in 
his power, and in Portugal he established the south border of 
Christendom at the Mondego River." 5 

It must have seemed, then, a propitious time for the complete 
triumph of Christian arms in the peninsula, but such an out- 
come was still more than four centuries away. The delay was 
caused by many things, but the immediate reason was that 
Ferdinand divided his kingdom into three parts and by so doing 
again set up internal conflict in Christian lands. Although his 
son, Alfonso VI of Leon and Asturias, continued the struggle 
against the Moslems, taking Toledo, virtually controlling Valen- 
cia and raiding south of Seville to the sea, (Hi he was at odds 
with the other Christian kingdoms; Castile was against Leon 
and Navarra; Aragon was opposed to Catalonia. Moreover, one 
of the great motivating forces of the reconquest precluded com- 
plete victory over the Moslems. This was the desire for quick 
profit through loot, ransom for the return of persons or cities, 
or payment for protection. For centuries, the ordinary way of 
living was by marauding and pillaging, and Christian armies 
of the meseta (less so in Portugal) often had more interest in 
winning battles that would involve loot or payment for future 
protection by Moslem kings than any wish to possess or settle 
new territory. Christian princes extracted extortionate levies 
from Moslem kingdoms. Time and again, cities were captured 
only to be relinquished after they had been sacked or had given 
promises of payment. 07 

The conquest of Alfonso VI led the Moslems of the south to 
appeal to the Almoravides of Africa for help. They responded, 
and in 1086 won a great victory at Zalaca, near Badajoz. After 
this, the fanatical, well-organized Almoravides controlled a 
large part of Iberia for over a generation before power began 
to slip from their grasp. In 1120 they were badly beaten by 

65 J. Leite de Vasconcellos, "Delimitacao da fronteira Portuguesa," 
Boletim da Classe de Letras, XIII (1918-1919), p. 1276. 

6G This was the period of Rodrigo de Vivar, El Cid Campeador, d. 1099. 

67 Louis Bertrand, The History of Spain, p. 159; Peres, "A Reconquista 
Crista/* Historia de Portugal, I, 451. 



Alfonso of Aragon, el Batdlador. But they were not the last of 
the Africans to invade Iberia. Later in the century they were 
followed by the Almohades, who, although never as effective 
as the Almoravides had been in the first years of their power, 
established control over the southern part of the peninsula. 
Moslem pressure from the south remained a serious problem 
for the Christians until 1212, when the Almohades were de- 
cisively beaten at Navas de Tolosa. 

The twelfth century as a whole was one of disruption and 
devastation for the area of present New Castile with the alter- 
nating advances and withdrawals of Christians and Moslems, 
each in turn scorching the land as they passed through it. The 
inhabitants of the south meseta, trying to eke out a living, 
found that it was useless to plant trees. Such long-term plans 
were profitless in face of the planned destruction of the country- 
side. Grain was less a gamble, as it required only a few months' 
wait before the harvest. Best of all, however, were mobile flocks 
of animals which could be moved out of harm's way. Moslems 
complained to the Emperor in Morocco that they could not live 
isolated on the meseta to fall prey to marauders."' 8 That Chris- 
tians were in the same predicament is borne out by Edrisfs 
twelfth-century report, in which he said that the function of 
Medellin, Trujillo, and Caceres was to serve as forts from which 
raids could be made to devastate and sack Christian places/ 39 
Loot seems to have been a large part of the motivation. 

A change in attitude may be first observed in the mid- 
eleventh century, when Castile began to exhibit greater interest 
in the permanent expansion of its borders, rather than the im- 
mediate profit to be squeezed from Moslems either for protec- 
tion or for the recession of conquered territories. 70 This did not 
represent a complete change in Castilian policy. The predilec- 
tion for raiding and loot was too strongly ingrained to be 

cs Antonio Dominguez Ortiz, "La Poblacion espanola a lo largo de 
nuestra historia," Boletin de la Real Sodedad Geogrdfica, LXXXVI, Nos. 
4-6 (Apr .-June, 1950), 273-274. 

69 Abu-Abd-Alla-Mohamed-al-Edrisi, Description de Espafia, p. 25. 

70 Menendez Pidal, La Espana del Cid, pp. 42-43. 



eliminated quickly. It continued to have importance until 
Granada fell. The change in attitude was sufficient, however, 
to give Castile an advantage over Leon where the preoccupa- 
tion with loot continued unabated. 


Of the three distinct centers or nuclei of the north of Iberia, 
Leon had been the most powerful and was the object of Mos- 
lem attack. Leonese strength in this case was its disadvantage 
and it suffered under repeated and devastating attacks. Castile, 
on the east, was less in the Moslem focus and continued to 
grow in power and to form itself as a political unit. On the 
other side was the area of present North Portugal, considerably 
isolated by topography. It was a wet, green country in a blind- 
alley position and had little to recommend it to either the 
Moslems or the meseta Spaniards. Leon had its hands full with 
insuperable problems without being concerned about a remote, 
somewhat strange and unattractive land. Even less would that 
part of the peninsula have come into the ken of Castile, so far 
away and so involved in the great social and military changes 
that eventuated in its becoming the supreme power of Spain. 
The emergence of Castile as dominant over Leon was all to the 
good for Portugal. It left the latter a free choice of remaining 
largely aloof, or of taking part in the affairs of the rest of the 
peninsula. When its interests were served it could take part in 
the conflict, but otherwise there was little compulsion. When 
Portugal struck for its freedom, Leon was well along the road 
of its decline, but Castile had not yet succeeded in consoli- 
dating its power over the more important areas in the east and 
the south. 

The political advantages of the offside position of Portugal 
are obvious but there was another advantage to this avoidance 
of involvement in the martial affairs of the peninsula. It allowed 
the Portuguese farmers, who were more strongly rooted in the 
land than their meseta relatives, an opportunity to continue to 



improve their agriculture. At the time of the raids and counter- 
raids on the meseta, where potential agricultural land was con- 
verted by reasons of necessity into sheep runs, the Portuguese 
fanners continued their agriculture without disruption. On the 
Spanish side, the herder, always strong, was strengthened fur- 
ther, whereas on the Portuguese side if there was change it was 
in favor of the farmer. 



Final Steps toward Portuguese 


URING the eleventh century, Pope Alexander II en- 
couraged Europeans to go to Spain to fight Moslems. 
Of the many French who heeded the call and became 
permanent settlers in Iberia x two are particularly to 


be noted. The first, Raymond, son of the Count of Burgundy, 
arrived before the end of the century. He married Urraca, the 
only legitimate daughter of Alfonso. As Galicia was a troubled 
place, Alfonso decided to put this newly acquired member of 
his family in authority there, as a sort of viceroy. 2 The second 
figure of importance was Henry, cousin of Raymond and grand- 
son of Robert, Duke of Burgundy, By 1095 he was married to 
Theresa (or Tarasia or Tareja), an illegitimate daughter of 

1 Several settlements were established or influenced by the French. 
J. Leite de Vasconcellos, Origem historica e formacdo do povo Portugues, 
pp. 8-13. 

2 Alexandre Herculano, Historia de Portugal (7th ed.), pp. 14-15; 
Damiao Peres, Como nasceu Portugal, p. 48. 



Alfonso. 3 Henry was also given territory, that of present North 
Portugal. In the first year he may have been subject to the au- 
thority of Raymond/ although this is not certain. He may 
never have been answerable to anyone but Alfonso from the 
year 1095, when he was first given authority in the region south 
of the Minho River. 5 

Documents of the period make a clear distinction between 
this territory and that of Raymond, to the north of the Minho. 6 
Henry held his territory with sovereign rights, which were also 
rights of inheritance. This fact was demonstrated by the rever- 
sion of the territory without question, first to his widow and 
then to his son, Affonso Henriques. Nevertheless, it was not 
autonomy; Henry was the vassal of the Spanish king. 7 His 
situation was altered in the early years of the twelfth century 
when fundamental changes took place, brought about in the 
first instance by the death of the principal contenders for 
power. Raymond, who had laid plans to succeed his father-in- 
law, Alfonso, died in 1107. Alfonso's son, Sancho, the heir, died 
in 1108. Alfonso himself died the next year. From these deaths 
came the various problems of succession and inheritance. 
Urraca, daughter of Alfonso and widow of Raymond of Galicia, 
was the legitimate heir to the Leonese throne; but when she 
assumed authority over the whole kingdom, Henry in Portugal 
felt that he had been bilked of his due. His anger was a promise 
of trouble to come. 8 

Urraca added to her difficulties by marrying Alfonso of 
Aragon, known to history as "el Batallador" This union created 
antagonism among the clergy, who were vocal in their opposi- 
tion. Her newly acquired husband took umbrage at these 
ecclesiastics and marched against them into Galicia, thereby 

3 Herculano, Hist or ia de Portugal, pp. 16-17. 

4 Ibid., p. 17. 

5 Damiao Peres, "A Reconquista Crista," Historia de Portugal, I, 477. 
G Damiao Peres, "Origens da nacionalidade," Congresso do Mundo 

Portugues, II, 20. 
7 Ibid., p. 21. 
s Herculano, Historia de Portugal, p. 32. 



causing further antagonism;' not only with them, but even with 
his bride. Also, he occasionally beat her in public. She alter- 
nately opposed or joined her Aragonese husband, depending 
upon strategic expediency. 

To add further confusion to the disrupted political affairs of 
the time, the Galician barons f ormed a nucleus around Urraca's 
son, Alfonso Raimundez, to the end of establishing him in 
power in the northwest. 10 


Spanish disruption was great, and neither of the Spanish 
rivals had clear superiority of power. The balance held by 
Henry gave him a wonderful bargaining position. Never, it 
seems, was Portugal considered valuable enough to invade and 
conquer for itself. But the support that it could give to one or 
the other of the contestants was to be sought. The distress of 
Leon made Portuguese opportunity and Henry played both 
sides to his own advantage, changing quickly from one to the 
other and back again, according to the price offered for his 
aid. 11 He was never punished for his perfidy, but rewarded each 
time that he changed sides. The result was increased strength 
for Henry and Portugal, and exhaustion for Leon and, in part, 
for Galicia. Henry reduced his dependence upon the king of 
Leon to virtually nothing. 12 

Henry died, probably in 1112. His widow, Theresa, assumed 
power without any questions being raised as to her hereditary 
rights over the territory. At first she gave a nominal allegiance 
to the queen of Leon, but at the same time she was making 
secret plans with dissident groups in Galicia. 13 She established a 

fl Ibid., p. 36. 

10 They claimed that Alfonso, prior to his death, stipulated that Alfonso 
Raimundez should inherit Galicia in the event that Urraca married again. 
Whether or not this was true, it became their shibboleth. 

11 Peres, Como nasceu Portugal, pp. 90-91. 

12 Loc. cit. 

13 Peres, "Origens da nacionatidade," Conor esso do Mundo Fortuities, 
II, 27. 



union, perhaps a marriage, with Fernando Peres of Galicia, 
which did not endear her to the local barons of the lands south 
of the Minho, for Peres was given lands there, in addition to 
authority. 14 

That Theresa's independent strength was considerable at this 
time is shown by the fact that in 1117, when Urraca was at war 
with her husband, Galicians, Leonese, Castilians, and Asturians 
all fought with her, while Theresa took no part. 15 As far as can 
be determined she was in no way penalized for her lack of sub- 
mission to the Spanish queen. In 1116 Theresa took a part of 
Galicia and in 1119 Tiiy and Orense, 16 which, however, she 
held but temporarily. 

As the barons of Galicia had formed around Alfonso Rai- 
mundez, so did the barons of the territory south of the Minho 
River gather around Theresa's son, Affonso Henriques, forming 
a party of revolt against his mother. In 1128 the land to the 
north of the Douro was in the hands of this group, while 
Theresa and Peres were in control to the south. In the same 
year, at the Battle of Sao Mamede near Guimaraes, Theresa 
and Peres were beaten and expelled from Portugal. 17 


From this time forward, the area was under the control of 
local persons, exclusively occupied with what has become rec- 
ognized as Portuguese and conscious of their determination to 
maintain an independent unit in present North Portugal. Their 
intentions as to the south were as yet unformed, insofar as we 
have evidence. Supposedly, the centuries-old habit of fighting 
Moslems on the south border was not lost to sight. Affonso 
Henriques successfully fought alternately the Moslems on the 
south and Alfonso VII on the east and north. In 1139 or 1140 

14 Peres, Como nasceu Portugal, pp. 96-100. 

15 Ibid., p. 92. 

16 J. Leite de Vasconcellos, "Delimitagao da fronteira Portuguesa," 
Boletim da Classe de Letras, XIII (1918-1919), 1281. 

1T Peres, "Origens da nacionalidade," Congresso do Mundo Portugues, 
II, 32. 



he assumed the title of king 1& and proclaimed the official in- 
dependence of Portugal. Pope Alexander III underwrote this 
claim in 1179. 11 ' 

The particular opportunity offered to Count Henry and his 
son, Affonso Henriques, was a result of Spanish politics, but it 
was no accident of history that the independence of Portugal 
was achieved. The basis of an independent western nation in 
the Iberian peninsula had existed through all known time. It 
should be remembered that Portugal took form in the area with 
a persistent core of independent character, in the northwest of 
the peninsula." 

Portugal is named fittingly. The name suggests historical 
reality, as "Lusitania," a literary creation of the sixteenth cen- 
tury, does not. 21 This statement in no sense is meant to contra- 
dict Leite de Vasconcellos 21> and Mendes Correa,- 3 who insist 

18 Carl Erdmann, "A Adapgao do titulo de Reipor D. Afonso Henriques" 
(trans. Rodolfo Frederico Knapic), Congresso do Mundo Portugues, II, 65. 

10 Amando Melon y Ruiz de Gordejuela, Geografia historica espanola, 
I, 257. 

20 Herculano rejected the historical and ethnic background of the 
Portuguese state. He did so on the grounds that the Lusitanian territory 
and the Lusitanians themselves could not be equated with the area within 
present Portuguese boundaries. This is a straw man that he pushes over. 
Common to his period was an unwarranted, romantic belief in the 
exclusively Lusitanian background of Portugal. Reasonably, he found this 
to be erroneous. However, to reject the ethnic and historical continuity of 
the nuclear area in North Portugal is another matter. See A. A. Mendes 
Correa, Raizes de Portugal (2nd ed.), especially pp. 117-118. 

Another factor, the importance of which it is impossible to gauge, is 
that indicated by physical anthropology. Although there is no doubt as 
to the close cultural relation between the two areas, the striking variance 
shown by physical anthropology between Galicia and present North 
Portugal may indicate deep-seated differences that may have conduced 
to political separation of the areas. Eastern Galicia with northern Asturias 
shows the greatest brachycephaly of Iberia, whereas to the south, in the 
mountains of North Portugal, there is the greatest dolichocephaly of the 
peninsula. Mendes Correa, Raizes de Portugal, pp. 90-91. 

21 Pierre David, Etudes historiques sur la Galice et le Portugal du VI e 
an Xlll e siecle, p. xix. 

22 J. Leite de Vasconcellos, Religwes da Lusitdnia, I, xxv-xxvi. 

- 3 A. A. Mendes Correa, "A Lusitania pre-romana," Historia de Portu- 
gal, I, 185. 



that the Lusitanians were clearly an important part of the 
Portuguese admixture. But that they were an important part of 
the blend of peoples who ultimately achieved independence 
does not imply that it was in their territory that the movement 
started or, indeed, that in that area there was the psychological 
basis of such a movement. For this one must look to northwest 


It would seem more difficult to explain why Galicia, which 
had always been an integral part of the northwest culture 
region, remained separate from the Portuguese state. However, 
the reasons may not be difficult to find. One of them, obviously, 
is the fact that the re-establishment of political control of the 
province of the Minho came from Porto in the south and not 
from Galicia. Leon, on the other hand, was resettled out of the 
north, with Galicians making up part of the group of settlers. 
For the Portuguese area a new political and economic orienta- 
tion had been established. Nuclear Portugal (the Minho Prov- 
ince) had a degree of isolation not possessed by Galicia. The 
only good entryway into the north of Portugal is along the 
western seacoast. Another entryway, from Verm along the 
Tamega River Valley through Chaves and then, over a slight 
rise, into the valley of the Corgo River and finally into that of 
the Douro, is of local economic and of limited strategic impor- 
tance. 24 A third possible entryway is that along the high plain 
of northeastern Portugal leading into Spain in the neighbor- 
hood of the town of Alcanices. This, however, is even more in- 
accessible than that of Verin-Chaves. 25 On the east there is 
none until south of the latitude of Salamanca where, after the 
twelfth century, a connection was made between Ciudad Rod- 

24 Even though it is the entryway used by Soult in Napoleonic times, 
the fault valley of the Tamega belongs essentially to Portugal and not to 
Galicia. Not far north of the Portuguese border is a highland which 
effectively separates the valley of the Tamega from the Galician basin 
of the Mifio River in Spain. 

25 Mendes Correa, Raizes de Portugal, p. 42. 



rigo - (i in Spain and the Portuguese city of Guarda, settled in 
1197. 27 The Romans had used a route across this middle coun- 
try, but it ran somewhat to the south of the Ciudad Rodrigo- 
Guarda road, 28 

Galicia itself is readily entered from the east, along the north 
coast or from the meseta directly, through the city of Leon to 
Astorga, and from there to Lugo. This is the old Roman road 
which was established in keeping with topography. Nowhere 
does it present great problems of slope. The same is true of the 
road leading from Lugo to the ria harbors of the west. This 
facility of entry is lacking in the mountain and canyon border- 
land separating Spain from most of the north and northeast of 

Perhaps an even more important reason for the separation of 
Galicia from nuclear Portugal concerns the establishment of 
Santiago de Compostela as a great religious and pilgrimage 
center. The road to Santiago across the north of Spain was a 
famous and important route, linking Spain with Galicia physi- 
cally and emotionally. There was no such link between Portu- 
gal and Spain. On the contrary, the Portuguese church had 
been a relatively independent institution. The Bishop and later 
Metropolitan in Braga had independent rights. If, as was once 
hoped, the Metropolitan of Braga had become the Iberian 
Primate, Portuguese history might have been different, but this 
did not occur and his authority became localized. 

There is no single, simple reason for Portuguese independ- 
ence. Individual judgments, institutional decisions, historical 
backgrounds, and the position and nature of the land all con- 
tributed to the result. 

26 Repopulated in 1161. Julio Gonzalez, "Repoblacion de la 'Extrema- 
dura' leonesa," Hispania, XI, 226. 

27 Hermann Lautensach, "Portugal Auf Grund eigener Reisen und der 
Literatur." 2. "Die portugiesischen Landschaften" (Gotha, Petermanns 
Mitteilnngen, No. 230, 1937), 31. 

28 A. de Amorim Girao, Geografia de Portugal, facing p. 366. 



Completion of the Portuguese 


HE NUCLEUS area has been fundamental to Portu- 
guese existence. After the independence of the north, 
. the problem ceased to be that of the establishment of 
S/WWWV* the Portuguese nation, but became a matter of its ex- 
tension. The lands later added had not been exclusively Portu- 
guese, culturally and historically, nor did they, through much 
of their extent, belong physically more to an Atlantic fringe 
than to the central meseta. 

The extension of Portuguese control from the nuclear area 
is, to some degree at least, a matter of politics and opportun- 
ism. The inclusion of the Alentejo and the Algarve may be 
largely, although not entirely, credited to the determination of 
ambitious Portuguese kings and nobles, and to the preoccupa- 
tion of Spanish kings and nobles with affairs elsewhere in the 
peninsula. Conquest was achieved against a weakening resist- 
ance and a diminishing base of Moslem action. Everywhere 
south of the Mondego the extension of political control was sim- 
plified for the Christians by dissension among the Moslem Taifa 



kingdoms, and their willingness, often indeed their desire, to 
give ground to the Christians, who presented a lesser evil than 
that of their co-religionists, the Almoravides and Almohades. 
To a considerable extent the task of conquest, control, and re- 
settlement was assigned to the military orders l which, in re- 
turn, received great grants of land in the Alentejo, where the 
problem was mostly one of establishing a population and 
arranging means for its support, rather than that of conquest. 

For the first time this territory became exclusively Portu- 
guese. However, that it was not merely an historical accident 
the chance decisions of kings and nobles that made the area 
Portuguese, is indicated by the boundaries of the Roman Con- 
ventus luridicus as well as the boundaries of the church, neither 
of which differed greatly from those of present southern Portu- 
gal. 2 As has been said above, the Romans were not unconscious 
of local cultural differences, and their placement of boundaries 
was not capricious. Rather, it was based upon local loyalties, 
wherever possible. Certainly this seems to have been the fact 
in the north, where the persistence of the Minho and Douro 
River boundaries is striking. The conditions in the Alentejo 
were in some degree comparable. Here, however, the differ- 
ences were considerable, for the Alentejo was thinly populated 
and strongly influenced by herding peoples during Moslem, 
Visigoth, Roman, and pre-Roman times. This was very different 
from the conditions in the north, where the strongly rooted 
farming populations always thought of themselves in relation 
to one piece of land with fixed boundaries. 

The Portuguese Algarve is a case apart. It had been an iso- 
lated and individualized territory through most of its existence 
until the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, the Age of Discover- 
ies. The sen as of Monchique and Caldeirao separated it effec- 
tively from the Alentejo on the north, and the open coastal 
areas to the east of the Guadiana River generally isolated it on 

1 H. V. Livermore, A History of Portugal, pp. 98, 135; Edgar Prestage 
"The Chivalry of Portugal," Chivalry, pp. 150-151. 

2 Antonio Garcia y Bellido, La Peninsula Tberica en los comienzos de 
m historia, p. 393. 



that side. In the earliest records, the local people were recog- 
nized as being distinct from their neighbors. The influence of 
Tartessos had reached into it, but without submerging it. Later, 
Celtic influences were felt, but still the area remained distinct. 
The Carthaginians fished and evaporated salt in nearly a dozen 
places along the coast, but changed the ways of life little, if 
any. The Greeks had less interest than did the Carthaginians. 
The Romans fitted the Algarve into their Conventus luridicus, 
which included a larger territory to the north and east. This 
obviously was procrustean, but expedient to administration. 
However, there is no evidence to the effect that the area was 
drawn culturally closer to the territories with which it was 
politically associated. Under the Arabs the association with 
Andalusia was greater than it had previously been, an obviously 
reasonable arrangement in view of the similarities of climate, 
vegetation, and exploitation. Nevertheless, the immemoriaUy 
old zone of separation, the sterile coastal lands to either side of 
Huelva, was again determinative when, at the time of the 
break-up of the Moslem Caliphate, one of the little Taifa king- 
doms established its eastern boundary along the Guadiana 

At the time of the reconquest the Algarve was neither clearly 
Spanish nor Portuguese. Its inclusion in the Portuguese state 
had nothing at all to do with historical cultural affinity. It was 
a matter of political opportunism. 


Atlantic position served Portugal well during her period of 
southward expansion. Maritime aid shortened the schedule of 
the reconquest and perhaps without it Portugal would not have 
maintained her independence. When seventy vessels of cru- 
saders dropped anchor in the mouth of the Douro at Porto they 
were greeted effusively by Aff onso Henriques and persuaded to 
join in an attack upon Lisbon. They sailed southward, while 
he marched overland to meet them. Between the two forces 



the countryside was devastated, but Lisbon held out. 3 Seven 
years later, however, another group of crusaders made up 
of several nationalities, including English, Flemings, Germans, 
and French, were enlisted by the rallying call to restore Lisbon 
to Christian hands, and also by Affonso's promise of all of the 
loot and ransom of the city, as well as donations of lands to be 
taken from the Moslems. 4 Lisbon fell after seventeen weeks of 
siege. 5 Directly after this, Sintra was taken, and Palmela was 
found to have been abandoned, as hopeless of defense, when 
the Christians arrived.' 1 Silves, in the Algarve, was temporarily 
subjugated with the aid of crusaders in 1189. T Alvor was taken 
temporarily as well, 8 and in 1217 crusaders took part in the 
conquest of Alcacer do Sal. 9 


In the quick southern expansion of both the Portuguese and 
Castilian-Leonese states the problem of delimitation of their 
respective areas could have been the source of disastrous con- 
flict. That it was not was largely a matter of enlightened cupid- 
ity. In all of Iberia, the drives against the Moslems were aimed 
southward or southeastward against the centers of wealth. 10 
While the Portuguese were driving south, pointed toward the 
Algarve, a small area of prosperity, the Leonese had their eyes 
upon Seville and Andalusia, the great Moslem center of wealth, 
which under all conquerors had been considered a premium 

During the reign of Affonso Henriques, the northern bound- 

3 Charles Wendell David (ed. and trans.), De Expugnatione Lyx- 
bonensi, pp. 16-17. 
*lbid., pp. Ill, 113. 

5 Ibid., p. 14. 

6 Ibid., p. 179. 

7 Joao Baptista da Silva Lopes, Relagao da derrota, naval, faganhas, e 
successes dos cruzados que parti mo do escalda para a Terra Santa 'no 
Anno de 1189, p. 12. 

s Prestage, Chivalry, p. 151. 
9 Loc. cit. 
10 See Chapter 11 of this book. 



ary of Portugal had been established as almost precisely that 
of the present. 11 During his life, the northern section of the east 
boundary was probably also established approximately along 
the line of the present boundary of eastern Tras-os-Montes. 1 - 
South of this province, the Spanish-Portuguese boundary be- 
tween the Douro and Tejo rivers then ran along the Coa River, 
somewhat to the west of the present boundary. Below the Tejo 
River, the problem was more complex, as there were fewer of 
the physical characteristics useful for boundary lines. This area 
was largely bounded through agreements. Due to its lack of 
attractions through much of its extent, the precise lines had 
little importance. It was at this time that Affonso Henriques of 
Portugal and Ferdinand II of Leon, recognizing that they stood 
to profit more from Moslem lands than they could from trying 
to take land from each other, agreed in the Treaty of Celanova, 
probably in 1160, to respect a certain line of division to separate 
the lands yet to be conquered toward the south. 1 * 

The Portuguese took Evora in the Alentejo permanently from 
the Moslems in 1166. It never again fell into Moslem hands, 
even in the great Almohad drive of 1191, which captured vir- 
tually everything up to the Tejo. With the conquest of Alcacer 
do Sal in 1217, the Christians controlled the strong points of 
Alcacer and Evora and the territory between them. To the east 
of Evora, Moslem control extended north, probably to Marvao, 
but during the reign of Sancho II ( 1223-1248) this salient was 
eliminated by taking Elvas and Juromenho. The southern 

11 J. Leite de Vasconcellos, "Delimitagao da fronteira Portuguesa," 
Boletim da Classe de Letras, XIII (1918-1919), 1282. Not that it would 
have seemed stable at the time, for Affonso Henriques had pushed beyond 
it as did his successors. They, like Affonso, were ultimately obliged to 
renounce their claims. 

12 Leite de Vasconcellos believed this to be so. Ibid., p. 1282. However 
this may be, the Portuguese culture region had not filled out the territory 
that far eastward. See Vasconcellos, reference above, note, p. 160 and 
citation of Conde de Sao Payo. 

13 Hermann Lautensach, "A Individualidade geografica de Portugal no 
con junto da Peninsula Ib erica," Boletim da Sociedade de Geografia de 
Usboa, XLIV (1931), 386; Amando Melon y Ruiz de Gordejeula, 
Geografia historica espanola, I, 258. 



boundary was thereby somewhat straightened, so that it ran in 
a gentle arc across Portugal from Alcacer do Sal to Evora to 
Elvas. 14 With these strongholds in Portuguese hands, the end 
of Moslem occupation of Portugal was in sight. 

The exact terms of the Treaty of Celanova are not known, 
but it seems probable that the boundary on the south was the 
line of the lower Guadiana River. If this was the decision it was 
reasonable, as it re-established an immemorially old boundary 
that had been serviceable throughout millennia. The Castilian- 
Leonese conquest of Seville was completed in 1248, after first 
piercing southeastward to Malaga and then following the coast 
westward. This was just prior to the conquest of Silves ( 1249- 
1250) in the Algarve by the Portuguese, 15 which virtually 
established the form of present Portugal. 

Only minor adjustments followed. For example, there was a 
short period of tension and rivalry for the borderlands along 
the Guadiana River. Ayamonte, to the east of the river, was in 
Portuguese hands in 1255, and other small territories, now 
Spanish, were held by Portugal until 1267. 1G The Castilian- 
Leonese crossed the Guadiana River near its mouth, apparently 
contrary to the agreement of Celanova, and occupied some 
Algarvian towns. Alfonso X believed that he had a proper claim 
to the territory, as he had purchased it from the local Moslem 
ruler while he (Alfonso) was Infante. 17 In any case, this prob- 
lem was settled in 1267, when the Castilian-Leonese king re- 
nounced all claim to territory in the Algarve while Portugal 
relinquished its castles in present Spain. Later in the century, 
in 1281, Serpa, now of the Portuguese Alentejo, was still under 
Spanish control, 18 as were the territories north of the Tejo, west 

14 Leite de Vasconcellos, "Delimita^ao da fronteira Portuguesa/' Boletim 
da Classe de Letras, XIII, 1283-1284. 

15 Ibid., p. 1284. 

16 Loc. cit. 

17 Amando Melon y Ruiz de Gordejuela, Geografia historica espanola, 
I, 257-258. 

18 Leite de Vasconcellos, "Delimitacao da fronteira Portuguesa/' Boletim 
da Classe de Letras, XIII, 1285. 



to the Coa River. It was In 1295 that King Diniz of Portugal 
essentially established the present eastern boundaries of Portu- 
gal, with one exception. He acquired the areas of the Coa River 
basin, Castelo Rodrigo, Sabugal, Campo Maior, and Monforte 
in the north, and Serpa, Moura, and Mourao in the south. 19 
The only change of importance in Portuguese boundaries since 
that time is that of the region of Olivenca, which was Portu- 
guese, except for the two-year interim (1657-1658), until the 
Spanish took it in 1801. This matter is discussed below. 


By the end of the thirteenth century the question of bound- 
aries was no longer a major problem to the national state of 
Portugal. The problem had become one of assimilation of the 
newly acquired southern territories. The lands south of the 
Tejo River were effectively made Portuguese during the four- 
teenth and fifteenth centuries. Prior to this time, on the basis of 
their physical constitution, climate, vegetation, economic ex- 
ploitation, or cultural development, they could have become 
Spanish as well as Portuguese. 

During these centuries the Castilian conquest of Iberia stag- 
nated against the kingdom of Granada, not because of Moslem 
strength, but because of the internal quarrels between Castile 
and Aragon and the remnant of the immemorially old attitude 
of Spanish leaders to derive profit from raiding, looting, and 
ransom, which at times took precedence over the permanent 
conquest of territory. 20 This situation redounded to the benefit 
of Portugal, which was left generally in peace. This Atlantic 
fringe, not greatly desired at any time by the Spanish, only 
occasionally fell within the focus of their interest. Disturbances 
that occurred were minor and quickly settled. Portugal was 
given the opportunity of consolidating its territory under the 
leadership of the court at Lisbon, which became the center of 
political balance in the country. Here the various economic and 

10 Loc. cit. 

20 Louis Bertrand, The History of Spain, p. 197. 



political lines of the state were drawn together and effectively 
tied. 21 


After completing the reconquest of its territory from the 
Moslems, Portugal promptly set about establishing the eco- 
nomic life of the nation. An interesting comparison can be 
made between the attitudes and methods of Portugal of that 
time and those of neighboring Spain. Differences were clearly 
marked in the opposed attitudes toward the exploitation of 
land, partly, but only partly, induced by climate. Portugal 
established a well-rooted and ultimately prosperous agriculture 
in the southern lands taken from the Moslems. The record is 
clear as to the intention of the Portuguese kings. Numerous 
laws set up provisions under which families settled on the land 
for the purpose of planting and harvesting crops. The primary 
concern of the Portuguese governments, for long generations, 
was to establish a settled peasantry. 22 Unoccupied land was 
given to families with the express intention of establishing 
permanent cultivation. Uncultivated land reverted to the crown 
to be redistributed. One of the most famous of Portuguese kings, 
Diniz (or Deniz), was especially active in this, 23 and because of 
his contribution to the well-being of his country he is gratefully 
known to history as "the Farmer King" (o Rei Lavrador). He 
publicly proclaimed that "no baron would lose caste by dedi- 

21 Affonso III moved the capital from the north Coimbra and 
Guimaraes had both served to Lisbon, in 1248, just prior to the com- 
pletion of the Portuguese reconquest. Livermore, A History of Portugal, 
p. 134. A. de Amorim Girao speaks of Lisbon, centering upon the sea, as 
being the polarizing element bringing diverse parts together. See his 
Condicoes geogrdficas e historicas da autonomia politico, de Portugal, 
p. 21, and "Origines de Tetat Portugais," Revue Geographique des 
Pyrenees et du Sud-Ouest, XI, Nos. 3-4 (1940), 158. His concept is 
somewhat mystical but has the basis of reality in it. 

22 Virginia Rau, Sesmarias medievais portuguesas, pp. 42 (especially), 
54 et seq., 68-71. 

23 Damiao Peres, "A Actividade agricola em Portugal nos seculos XII a 
XIV, Congresso do Mundo Portugues, II, 469, 471, 472. 



eating himself to the soil" - 4 and thus helped to avoid one of the 
great Spanish plagues, the distaste for labor. The results of the 
efforts of Diniz and others was that at the end of the fourteenth 
and the beginning of the fifteenth century, when it entered into 
the great period of ""discoveries," Portugal had a prosperous 
agriculture.- 3 It had little need for imports or for exports to 
obtain foreign currency. Fruits and wine had been exported 
prior to this time, 20 and by the end of the fourteenth century 
olive oil earlier of little importance entered the export lists. 
It appears that home consumption of the olive was then negli- 
gible and that the tree had been planted and cultivated chiefly 
to provide an export product for cash. 27 


Affairs in Spain were talcing a very different course. Political 
control was in the hands of nobles of the meseta whose interest 
had been in pastoral industries long before the territory had 
been fully conquered from the Moslems, an interest that had 
been furthered by the exigencies of the centuries of siege. 
During the years of the reconquest, tax exemptions were given 
to sheepherders along the routes of migrations, in exchange for 
loyalty to and support of the crown. Klein reports dozens of 
such exceptions in the documents of the period, 970-1273. 28 
These, in turn, apparently harked back to Visigothic regulations 
of the Fuero Juzgo, which favored sheepmen in the semiannual 
migrations with their flocks. 29 The Visigothic regulations, we 

24 Livermore, A History of Portugal, p. 152. 

25 Peres, "A Actividade agricola em Portugal," Congresso do Mundo 
Portugues, II, 478. 

^ Q lUd., p. 466. 

27 In the north of Portugal olive oil began gradually to replace butter 
in the sixteenth century. See Orlando Ribeiro, "Cultura do Milho, 
economia agraria e povoamento," Biblos, XVII, No. 2 (Coimbra 1941)' 

28 Julius Klein, The Uesta, A Study in Spanish Economic History 
1273-1836, p. 162. ^ 

2 Ibid., p, 301. 



may assume, were based on attitudes present in the peninsula 
prior to the arrival of the Visigoths. In all probability they were 
merely codifications made in the sixth or seventh centuries of 
ancient Visigothic and local practices. 

Under the Mesta (the sheepowners' organization) the sheep 
industry of Spain developed in a fashion somewhat comparable 
to that of England. In both cases the industry satisfied the 
king's need for cash. Wool, high-priced, compact, readily pre- 
served, and with a large world demand, made a good export 
item. It became so important to the Spanish kings that they 
imported wheat from Aragon to feed Castile, so that there 
should be no inducement for farmers to plant grain on pasture 
lands. 30 In the fourteenth century Castile had the largest pas- 
toral industry in Western Europe and a growing foreign trade. 
By the mid-sixteenth century the Mesta, greatly favored by the 
crown, was so powerful and arrogant that it took over town 
commons and town pastures and other special enclosures for 
its flocks. Every device of the government was used to support 
sheep raising, 31 obviously to the detriment of planting. Toward 
the end of the sixteenth century corregidores sent out by the 
central government almost unanimously reported that the 
sparsity and poverty of agricultural population was due to the 
emphasis on sheep raising. 32 The extent to which this was true 
is indicated by the law passed under Ferdinand and Isabel by 
which a Mesta member had permanent tenancy of a given field, 
either at a rent paid under his earliest lease or, if his flocks oc- 
cupied these fields for a season or even a few months without 
being discovered by the landowner, for nothing at all. 33 

How very different this was from the attitude in Portugal, 
where, for the most part, the cultivator was supported against 
the herder. 34 


1 Ibid., p. 314. 31 Ibid., p. 318. 

32 Ibid., p. 94. 33 Ibid., p. 328. 

34 The Alentejo is the most Spanish of the Portuguese provinces. 
Physically there is no sharp distinction to be made between it and Spanish 
Extremadura. Historically the two regions have had somewhat parallel 
experiences; both were given into the hands of the religious-military 



Clearly such a striking economic difference, with all that it 
entails with regard to social attitudes, could contribute to a 
separation of die peoples involved and likewise to the ultimate 
political division. 

orders. The Alentejo is now noted for its great estates and owners, whose 
titles, in many cases, come down from the period of the reconquest. As 
in Spanish Extremadura, grazing is important, but the farmer was not 
sacrificed to the herder. In the Alentejo, now as at the time of Diniz, 
there is a blend of pastoralism and agriculture. 



Development of Portuguese 
International Relations 


HE AID GIVEN by north Europeans to Portugal In 
the conquest of Moslem cities during the time of the 
Crusades was clear demonstration to Portugal of the 
strategic importance of its position. Location on the 
Atlantic Ocean continued to have strategic importance mili- 
tarily during the fourteenth century, but, more than this, it 
became a source of economic advantage. Portuguese commerce 
grew and its fishing industry expanded. 1 The first commercial 
treaty of Portuguese history was made in 1294 with England. A 
half century later, in 1353, another treaty was signed with Eng- 
land, allowing the Portuguese to fish off British shores. Inter- 
nally, industry and mining were encouraged and commerce 
expanded as the government supported the development of 
commercial fairs throughout the country. 2 Commercial connec- 

1 Hermann Lautensach, "A Individualidade geografica de Portugal no 
conjunto da Peninsula Iberica," Boletim da Sociedade de Geografia de 
Lisboa,XLTX (1931), 390. 

2 Mario Gongalves Viana, Rei D. Deriiz, pp. 80-85. 



tions with England developed into a military alliance in 1381. 8 
It is a much-argued question among Portuguese today whether 
the commercial connections established during this period, and 
continued ever since by various treaties and agreements, were 
beneficial or detrimental to Portugal. The same may be said for 
the military alliance. At first the latter yielded nothing but 
trouble, as Portugal was drawn into conflict with Spain over 
matters in which it had little interest. Involved were the affairs 
of John of Gaunt, who had married the daughter of Pedro the 
Cruel of Spain. Later, as Duke of Lancaster, John laid claim to 
the Spanish throne and tried to take it by force. His invasions 
of Spain were fiascos, and Portugal as an ally, having been 
forced to support him, paid the penalty. Nevertheless, it should 
not be forgotten that it was archers from England who swung 
the balance for a numerically inferior Portuguese army in the 
defeat of the heavily armored, mounted Spaniards at Aljubar- 
rota in 1385. 4 This victory ended the major threat of the period 
to Portuguese independence, arid, incidentally, sounded the 
knell of the importance of such cavalry. 

The commercial agreements of the later fourteenth century 
had followed upon a period of increasing exchange of goods, 
the profit from which was available to Portugal during her Age 
of Discoveries. It was during the fifteenth century that the 
Portuguese kingdom, through her overseas exploration and ex- 
pansion, first became consolidated, in spirit as well as in econ- 
omy. This was the century of the settlement of Maderia 5 and 
the Azores, and of the explorations directed by Prince Henry 
the Navigator along the African coast, which ultimately skirted 
the Cape of Good Hope to reach India. 

3 P. E. Russell, "]oao Fernandas Andeiro at the Court of John of 
Lancaster," Revista da Univemdade de Coimbra, XIV (1940), 20. 

4 H. V. Livermore, A History of Portugal, p. 175. 

5 The islands were known in the fourteenth century but occupied only 
after 1425. Orlando Ribeiro, Vile de Madere, p. 6. Settlement probably 
took place five years earlier than stated by Ribeiro, or so one of the 
earliest documents relating to the fact reports. See Jeronimo Dias Leite, 
Descobrimento da llha da Madeira, pp. 15-25. 




A stirring period of Portuguese history this was, and it effec- 
tively tied the south particularly the Algarve, which otherwise 
might have remained apart in spirit into the Portuguese 
nation. Algarvians played an important part in the explorations, 
and they took an important part in the conquest of Ceuta, and 
other expeditions to follow. It is perhaps more important to 
Portuguese consolidation that Algarvians took part in these ex- 
ploits than the fact that the romantic, inspiring, and profitable 
fifteenth-century achievements were common also to Trasmon- 
tanos, Minhotos, Beiroes and Alentejanos. All of them shared 
and took pride in the national achievement, and this pride was 
focused upon the great port of the lower Tejo River. 

The importance of Lisbon is no accident. This is one of the 
great natural harbors of the world. Once the western part of 
Iberia was established as a national unit, it was mandatory that 
Lisbon should become the center of control. Not only is it the 
finest harbor of the country, but behind it lies one of Portugal's 
most productive areas, one that was prized by both Romans 
and Moslems. With the Atlantic orientation emphasized by the 
Age of Discoveries, it goes without saying that Lisbon would 
inevitably be of supreme importance. It was through Lisbon, 
and only secondarily through Porto and lesser ports, that con- 
tact was maintained with Africa and the Portuguese possessions 
in Asia, with the Azores, Madeira, the Guine colonies, and per- 
haps more importantly, with England. 

By the end of the fifteenth century, when Castile had finished 
her conquest of Moslem territory in the peninsula and might 
have turned her ideas of conquest westward to "fill out the 
peninsula," Portugal was firmly glued together with a common 
pride, common purpose, and common loyalties. In unity the 
various, disparate parts were prospering commercially, and all 
was based on a thriving agriculture. By this time it was patently 
impossible for any part of present Portugal to be dismembered 
from the whole without deep and pervading resentment. 6 

6 A case in point is the still festering sore of Olivenca. See further in 
this chapter. 




In the sixteenth century, Spain, under Philip II, took Portu- 
gal, with some political justification, and held it for the period 
known as the Spanish Captivity, from 1580 to 1640. The Span- 
ish king had a legitimate claim to the throne. Whether or not 
it was the best claim may still be argued. 7 He had strong 
Portuguese adherents at the time of union among the Portu- 
guese nobles and the higher authorities of the church. The 
people of lesser political category and the lower clergy, plus 
the general populace, were said to be in opposition, 1 " but as 
their opposition was not politically effective, union became a 

Under Philip II, the promises that he originally made were 
fulfilled. 9 Portugal remained effectively autonomous. Portu- 
guese citizens held the important positions, indeed, virtually all 
positions, within Portugal. The laws of Portugal were essen- 
tially unchanged. Taxes were not raised to benefit Spain at the 
expense of Portugal. Unfortunately, this condition began to 
change under the administration of Philip III, and under Philip 
IV the policy was completely altered, greatly contrary to Portu- 
guese interest. 10 

This was a period of inclement political weather for Spain 
in Europe. Lack of funds led the king to raise revenues where 
he could. Portugal was obviously an untapped source. His asso- 
ciates swarmed into the places of preferment there. This would 
have been enough to convert even the formerly Hispanophile 
Portuguese nobles into enemies. But added to this was the dis- 
astrous effect upon Portuguese colonial holdings and Portu- 
guese world trade. The English, the Dutch, and other Western 
European nations used the Spanish connection as a pretext for 
stripping Portugal of valuable foreign possessions. Lisbon de- 

7 See his letter of 1579. "Carta de S.M. para los estados de Portugal, 
condoliendose de la imierte del Rey D. Sebastian y avisando del derecho 
que tiene a la sucesion de aquel reino, 14 de Marzo de 1579," Coleccion 
de documentos ineditos para la hixtoria de Espana, XL, 230-232. 

8 Rafael Altamira y Crevea, Historia de Espana, III (3rd ed.), 96-97. 

9 Ibid., p. 151. 

10 Charles E. Nowell, A History of Portugal, pp. 142-144. 



clined as a commercial center by reason of competition with 
the harbors of England and Holland and, what was felt to be 
especially grievous, by the competition of Spanish Cadiz. 

Notwithstanding all of this, Portugal, once within the grasp 
of the Spanish, could not have hoped for independence if Spain 
had not been in dire straits. Spanish troubles were both external 
and internal. Externally, her traditional enemies were pressing 
her. Internally, separatist movements were of serious propor- 
tions. The most important of these was that of Catalonia, where 
the first large-scale revolt broke out. The Duke of Braganca and 
other Portuguese were ordered to aid in quelling the Catalans. 11 
This obviously was a Portuguese opportunity, as Spanish dis- 
tress has ever been. Now even the higher members of the Portu- 
guese nobility and church rebelled against Spain and succeeded 
with a minimum effort. The Duke of Braganca, whose forbear 
had knelt smilingly to kiss the hand of Philip II at the begin- 
ning of the "captivity/ 7 12 was drafted to become the leader of 
the revolt. He certainly was not an inspired leader and had 
to be pressed into taking the position. Notwithstanding this, 
Portuguese success made him the first of a new dynasty when 
the decisive victory was won at Vila Viosa, in 1665, and the 
final peace treaty was signed in 1668. 

Since the period of the "captivity" the changes in the Spanish- 
Portuguese border have been minor, with the exception of the 
territory of Olivenca. This area, lying to the south of Elvas, 
was accepted as being Portuguese in the Treaty of Alcanices, 
made between Dom Diniz of Portugal and Ferdinand IV of 
Castile, at the end of the fourteenth century. In the war of 
restoration following the "captivity," it was temporarily held 
by Spain, but was returned to Portugal in the treaty of 1668. 13 

pp. 144, 148. 

12 "Relation de la entrada del duque de Braganza y del de Barcelos su 
hijo en esta corte a besar las manos a S.M. en 17 de enero 1581," Colec- 
cion de documentos ineditos para la historia de Espana, XL, 383. This 
document describes their joy and their affection for Philip II. 

13 J. M. de Queiroz Velloso, Como perdemos Olivenca, p. 8. 




The question of the Olivenca territory is difficult to under- 
stand because of the slight value of the area in question by any 
standards other than sentimental. The matters of international 
politics which resulted in its being dismembered from Portugal 
were in no way concerned with such a minor territory, and its 
international transfer is quite coincidental to them. 

Portugal's treaty with England was troublesome to Napoleon. 
It was a leak in the dike of his European policy. Through the 
Spanish-French "offensive and defensive alliance" an agree- 
ment was struck in 1801 for the invasion of Portugal, to compel 
her to break her English connections. 14 As a requisite to peace, 
Godoy, the close friend of the King of Spain and a closer friend 
of the Queen, insisted upon the retention of the Olivena terri- 
tory. It is difficult to understand his determination, as the Span- 
ish king did not insist upon it, 15 and Godoy earlier had described 
it contemptuously as a "child of smugglers/' Perhaps its pro- 
pinquity to his birthplace may have induced him to take and 
cling to the territory, for Godoy was born in Badajoz, just to 
the northeast of the Olivenca area. Or, more likely, its retention 
gave him the little prestige which otherwise was lacking to him 
in the whole endeavor. 

The treaty of the Congress of Vienna awarded the territory 
to Portugal. Spain protested this, on no very reasonable grounds, 
but finally signed the treaty 16 in 1817. However, this had no 
effect upon possession, for Spain continued to hold the territory. 
Such unimportant territory surely would have been restored, 
had animosities and tension of the time not been involved. 
In the year 1817 Brazil occupied Montevideo and feeling in 
Spain was strong against Portugal. Portugal tried to exchange 
Montevideo for Olivenca. 17 Representations about Olivenga 
were continued by Portugal to Spain until 1841. After this, little 
was done officially, but the feeling within Portugal has not 
changed. "The Group of the Friends of Olivenca" still meets 

14 Ibid., p. 37. " Ibid. 9 p. 85. 

Ibid., pp. 118, 121. 17 Ifczd.,pp. 128, 130-133. 



in Lisbon and hopes for the restitution of this "Portuguese terri- 
tory." On the other hand, the Spanish either have lost interest, 
or having possession, feel that it is safer not to mention the 
matter. The name is not even listed in the accumulated index 
of the Boletin de la Real Academia de la Historia. 18 

Aside from the Olivena territory, certain small areas have 
been amicably passed back and forth between Spain and Portu- 
gal as marriage portions: Sabugal, Segura, Alburquerque, etc., 
up to the eighteenth century. 19 In the nineteenth century, sub- 
sequent to the Olivenca imbroglio, an increasing attempt was 
made by peaceful means to correct the confusion caused by the 
marriage dots. In 1864-1866 the Spanish and Portuguese gov- 
ernments acted to adjust the matter of the Contenda de Mourn, 
involving territory south-southwest of the Olivenca lands. 20 In 
1893 this matter was completed amicably and another adjust- 
ment made in the same manner in 1926. 21 

With a growing foreign trade, and in a period of exploration, 
expansion, and achievement, Portugal developed a new national 
self-consciousness. An increasing feeling of unity in common 
purposes, loyalties, and national pride hastened the settling of 
boundary disputes and gave Portugal definitive borders. 

18 1877-1944. Vicente Castaneda Alcover. 

19 Hermann Lautensach, "Geopolitisches von der Spanisch-Portugie- 
sischen Grenze," Zeitschrift fur Geopolitik, V (1928), 371-372. 

20 J. Leite de Vasconcellos, "Delimitacao da fronteira Portuguesa/' 
Boletim da Classe de Letras, XIII (1918-1919), 1289. 

21 Lautensach/'Geopolitisches von der Spanisch-Portugiesischen Grenze," 
Zeitschrift fur Geopolitik, V (1928), 372. 


The Geography of 
Portuguese-Spanish Boundaries 

HROUGHOUT this book there are occasional refer- 
ences to boundaries, considered sometimes historically 
and sometimes, implicitly at least, as natural phe- 
nomena. As they are always potentially important, 


and sometimes crucially so, a few pages may be taken profitably 
to consider them. 


In Iberia international boundary lines have been drawn, for 
the most part, through zones of limited desirability. Roughly 
nine-tenths of the Spanish-Portuguese border is located in such 
areas, and the reflection of this fact is to be seen in the sparse- 
ness of population nearly everywhere along the frontier (Fig. 
13 ). 1 The one important exception is the area of the lower 

1 Figure 13 Is taken from Figure 4 of Luis de Hoyos Sainz, La Densidad 
de poblacion y el acrecentamiento en Espafia. The statistics used by 
Hoyos Sainz were those of the 1940 census. Unfortunately the statistics 
from the 1950 census are not available in such form as to be used for a 



Minlio River, which is certainly not a region characterized by 

It should be remembered that the lower Minlio River was 
the northern limit of the "desolation" of Alfonso I. Cities to the 
south had been eliminated. The filling-in of the routes of com- 
munications and the restoration of cities up to that line was 
accomplished by a southern group working northward from 
Porto. In the area of the lower Minho River a group of settlers 
that was oriented politically and economically toward the south 
met one of Galicia, where ancient connections eastward toward 
Spain had never been broken for more than short periods of 
time. 3 

Less than fifty miles upstream from the mouth of the Minho 
River the boundary turns sharply southward, and the popula- 
tion density falls off rapidly as the boundary rises along the 
slopes up to the high, winter-cold Serra de Laboreiro. After 
crossing the sharp, deep gorge of the Lima River, the border 
turns eastward again, following near the crests of other high 
mountains, the serras of Gerez and Larouco. To the east of 
Larouco is another exception to the general unattractiveness of 
locale along the border. This is the upper valley of the Tamega 
River, between the Portuguese city of Chaves and the Galician 

new map. However, a comparison of the 1950 statistics for the sparsely 
settled border region of Spain where it touches eastern Portugal with 
those used by Hoyos Sainz shows that there has been no material change 
In the situation in the decade. That border area is still, as it was in 1940, 
a land of slight attraction for population. 

For a discussion of the distribution of population along the international 
boundary, see Artur de Magalhaes Basto, "A Fronteira Hispano-Portu- 
guesa," O Institute, LXX (1923), 62-63. 

- This fact is made manifest also by the Hoyos Sainz map of popula- 
tion, but the end map of J. Dantin Cereceda, Distribution geogrdjica de 
la poblacion en Galicia, makes it even more obvious. Compare this with 
the map of Distribuicao da populagao de Portugal based on the 1940 
census, published by the Centre de Estudos Geograficos of Lisbon under 
the direction of Orlando Ribeiro. Both of the latter references are more 
detailed than the work of Hoyos Sainz, but unfortunately they are con- 
cerned with limited areas and do not serve for a comparison with the 
rest of Iberia. 

3 Although the river splits a population cluster, it has served usefully 
as an administrative boundary as far back as prehistory. 



town of Verin, A fertile valley, protected from the worst of the 
winter cold by uplands to the west, north, and east, it supports 
a modest cluster of population, and there is no break between 
settlement on the Portuguese side and in Galicia. In addition, 
the mountains, virtually encircling Verin, separate it clearly 
from the rest of Galicia. Its normal associations should be with 
Chaves and southward into Portugal, and one would have ex- 
pected the boundary line to have been established along the 
barren uplands lying between the upper Limia ( Lima ) and the 
middle Miiio (Minho) rivers, thus putting Verin into Portugal. 
However, another factor was more important than geography 
in the matter. Verin lies on the early pilgrimage road from 
Zamora to Orense, which skirts the north border of Portugal, 
and from there leads into Santiago de Compostela. 4 At Orense, 
this road is joined by that from Leon. The importance of San- 
tiago as a religious and pilgrimage center after the ninth cen- 
tury was a sufficient reason for Verin to have remained under 
Spanish control. The area was remote from the center of 
authority of either Leon or Portugal. It is a relatively unim- 
portant area to either state. An arbitrary political decision, 
although seemingly in violation of local economics, could have 
been enforced without difficulty, for actually political bound- 
aries had, and have, very little effect upon such distant and 
self-sufficient communities. A Portuguese author recently refer- 
ring to the area of Soajo, in the northeast of the Minho Prov- 
ince near the Spanish border, described the inhabitants thus: 
"Soajeiros are very independent. They are not irritated by the 
laws. They just do not pay much attention to them. Their lead- 
ing men' are the authorities recognized by the people. Their 
customs are their laws . . ." 5 No doubt life in Verin continued 
much in the same way that it would have done had the border 
been drawn elsewhere. 

Beyond the valley of the Tamega River the northern bound- 
ary line is again to be found at sufficient elevation so that the 

4 Antonio Lopez Ferreiro, Historia de la Santa A. M. Iglesia de Santi- 
ago de Compostela, V, p. 91. 

5 Basto, "A Fronteira Hispano-Portuguesa," O Institute, LXX, 104. 



Trds-oS'Montes: a Tin Mine 

factor of undesirability is marked. This is tlie higher,, more 
mountainous part of the province of Tras-os-Montes, where the 
limitation of population is imposed, not only by slope, but by 
duration of winter cold. 

The east boundary of Tras-os-Montes is drawn through an 
extension of the Leonese plateau, high and sufficiently exposed 
to the winter cold of interior Iberia to inhibit agriculture. For 
all of Tras-os-Montes another fact is of importance. The prov- 
ince lies in the lee of the mountains that separate it from the 
"green Minho." The orographic barrier causes a rainshadow 
condition. Drought thus adds another factor to the impoverish- 
ment of cultivation. 6 All of this "explains the relative isolation 
and the tenuous social and economic relations between the 
human groups on the two sides of the frontier. This isolation 
is particularly marked along the Leonese frontier. In almost all 

6 Vergilio Taborda, Alto Trds-os-Montes, p. 9. Also see Jorge Dias, 
Rio de Onor, especially pp. 79-85. The village of Rio de Onor, which 
Dias describes, straddles the international boundary at the extreme north- 
east of Tras-os-Montes. It is a small oasis of fertility in an otherwise 
barren land. 



of the territory between the Macas and the lands of Vinhais, 
the character of the frontier is much like that of a marca (a 
remote frontier province), so slight is the human occupation. 
He who goes from Braganca to Puebla de Senabria [sic] has 
the bleak sensation of travelling in 'Terra nullius domini' 
so spoke a geographer bom and raised in the region. 7 

The physical conditions of eastern Tras-os-Montes extend 
beyond the Douro until south of the Serra das Mesas, a Portu- 
guese continuation of the great central mountain system of 
Spain. Both elevation and rainshadow continue to limit pro- 
ductivity along the boundary zone, South of this, the lack of 
rainfall and the winter cold continue to be the obstacles to a 
more productive use of the land, but the causes are somewhat 
different. Although elevation decreases, outbreaks of cold from 
the Iberian meseta are a threat to crops through the winter. 
The growing season is longer than that of Tras-os-Montes ? but 
so is the period of summer drought and, unfortunately, in a 
land of little rain, the evaporation rate is high during the spring 
and fall when there is maximum precipitation. 8 

There are minor areas of increased population near the east- 
ern border of Middle Portugal, those of Sabugal, Portalegre, 
and Elvas. In each case there is a higher rainfall, due to some- 
what greater elevation. In no case, however, could the popu- 
lation be called dense. 9 Beyond Elvas, toward the south, the 

7 Taborda, Alto Trds-os-Montes (author's translation), p. 21. 

8 The sparseness of population of the Alentejo has been attributed to 
the system of latif undid, the great estates. This may be accurate but one 
cannot be sure. We do not know that exploitation of a territory so 
limited by physical factors could be effectively accomplished in small 
units. Absentee ownership, also typical of the area, is, of course, another 

9 The equation of increased population and rainfall is obvious in a 
comparison of the rainfall in H. Amorim Eerreira, Carta Pluviometrica 
de Portugal of 1943, with population density as shown on the Ribeiro 
map (see Note 2 of this chapter). One anomaly should be noted. The 
population density of the Spanish province facing the Sabugal area is 
virtually as low as any in Spain, although rainfall there, as in Sabugal, 
is a little higher than in the adjacent areas in Spain. This condition, in 
part at least, may be ascribed to the effects of the Mesta and the dis- 

v cV" 



obvious lack of appeal of the boundary zone continues to be 
shown in the sparseness of population. 

The length of the summer season and the evaporation rate 
both increase as total rainfall remains low down to the area of 
the lower slopes of the Serra do Caldeirao, which separates the 
Alentejo Province from the Algarve. Rainfall is higher here, but 
this advantage is more than offset by the nature of the soil 
materials. These schists do not allow an easy penetration of 
water. Rainfall mostly drains off by surface flow, and in these 
now deforested mountains each winter season sees the removal 
of another sheet of surface. Two generations ago, directly fol- 
lowing upon the clearing of the natural vegetation, the harvests 
were copious. Now after years of erosion, the yield is but a 
fraction of that of the early years. Only at the extreme south- 
east is there a slight increase in the population of the border 
zone, but this is limited to the Portuguese side. There are two 
reasons for it: first, the mine of Sto. Doniingos, producing cop- 
per and sulphur, supports several thousand people gathered 
immediately around it; 10 and second, the recently developed 
area of early vegetable production near Vila Real de Santo 
Antonio at the mouth of the Guadiana River supports another 
concentration of population. Truck gardens here supply Lisbon 
with early vegetables. This phenomenon developed during 
recent generations as a result of improved transport. This popu- 
lation area, like that of Sto. Domingos, appears as merely a spot 
against the border, for it is limited to the coastal sands and does 
not follow the Guadiana upstream. Across the Guadiana, the 
Spanish area lacks the economic advantage of Vila Real. Span- 
ish growers would not be able to compete in the Lisbon market 
due to import restrictions, and there is no nearby home market 
to support such an enterprise. 

10 This cluster appears on the Ribeiro map as a spot of settlement in 
an otherwise meagerly inhabited area. Such an agglomeration of popula- 
tion probably exists also in the area near the mines of Rio Tinto, which 
are geologically akin to those of Sto. Domingos and represent the Spanish 
counterpart. Unfortunately there is no Spanish map of sufficient detail 
available to substantiate such an assumption. 




National states require more than a frontier zone. They re- 
quire a boundary line, This line in Iberia, more often than not, 
is a river; such is the case for over 60 per cent of the Portuguese 
land boundaries and for over 70 per cent of the eastern border. 
Along the eastern border, rivers are signally useful, for they 
not only traverse land of little attraction, but have carved deep, 
steep-sided canyons into the plateau surface, which effectively 
cut communications. Fifty-four per cent of the eastern border 
is along such canyons, A striking example is that of the inter- 
national Douro between Paradela and Barca d'Alva, where the 
river flows through a canyon, at times with vertical walls several 
hundred feet high, for over 76 miles, falling 1600 feet in the 
distance. The great descent takes place through a series of falls 
and rapids, making navigation impossible. 11 A left-bank tribu- 
tary of the Douro, the Agueda River, and farther south its 
affluent, the Touroes, both act as boundaries. The Agueda cuts 
a deep canyon; the Touroes does so in part of its course. 

South of the Touroes, in the relatively high country between 
Ciudad Rodrigo and Guarda, the boundary does not follow 
rivers but is drawn across the headwaters of several small 
streams. It follows approximately the divide between the drain- 
age of the Agueda and Coa rivers. Beyond this area, in the Tejo 
drainage, streams again are used to mark the boundary line; 
the Torto and the Erges both run well below the surface of the 
country on either side of them. Where the Erges meets the 
Tejo, the boundary line turns sharply west, to follow the larger 
stream in a deep canyon to its juncture with the Sever. Here 
it again turns sharply, in an acute angle, to follow the canyon 
of the latter almost to its source in the Serra de S. Mamede. 
South of the Serra there is another stretch of boundary that is 
erratic and oblivious of hydrography. This is part of the terri- 
tory passed back and forth in the marriage portions of the 

11 None of the Portuguese boundary streams are navigable for useful 
distances except at the lower extremities. 



seventeenth and eighteenth centuries whose ultimate posses- 
sion was decided arbitrarily, although in amity, and largely in 
disregard of physical factors. 

A water course again becomes the boundary along the lower 
Caia River just before it joins the Guadiana. The boundary 
follows this river and the Guadiana almost to the latitude of 
Mourao, where there are other lands of frequent exchange be- 
tween the Iberian monarchs. These too were finally apportioned 
amicably, although arbitrarily in terms of physical factors. The 
boundary of Portugal here runs well to the east of the Guadiana. 
At the latitude of Serpa the boundary meets and follows the 
Chanca (Chanza) River to its juncture with the Guadiana, and 
then again follows the Guadiana. This is the ultimate stretch 
of the international boundary southward to the ocean. 

In Iberia, particularly, another fact makes rivers useful as 
boundaries. This is the great difference between flood and low 
water, and the resulting economic uselessness, which makes 
them barriers rather than means of communication. The bare, 
deforested Iberian meseta has a quick run-off, and the floods 
of the rainy season are sudden and devastating wherever the 
streams are not incased between high canyon walls. This factor 
makes the use of the streams difficult for virtually any purpose. 12 

Rivers have served Portugal and Spain as boundaries as far 
back in time as we have knowledge of the peninsula. For Rome 
it was standard practice to use them, and this was especially 
notable in Iberia. As stated above, it was the Roman intent, 
for reasons beneficial to herself in the matter of control, to fol- 
low custom where possible, and her choice commonly mirrored 
the established habits of the local peoples. It should not be sur- 
prising that later boundary makers and present governments 
have found rivers to be equally serviceable. 

12 The Guadiana at Mertola increases over eighty feet (25 meters) 
above low water during flood. The Tajo at Alcantara increases up to 
nearly one hundred feet (30 meters). Hermann Lautensach, "Lebens- 
raumfragen der Iberischen Volker," Lebensraumfragen Europdischer 
Volker, I: Europa, p. 505; Pedro M. Gonzalez Quijano, Mapa pluvio- 
metrico de Espana, pp. 277 et seq. 



Nevertheless, no matter how useful the rivers have been as 
political boundaries, the most important factor in the political 
separation of the Iberian countries is the distribution of popu- 
lation. Some of the distribution is, no doubt, induced by the 
fact of the boundary, but it is clearly obvious that the physical 
nature of the land has limited population density along the line 
of the present frontier. 


Environment and Culture 


VER THE HABITABLE world there have been re- 
peated migrations. With negligible exceptions, even 
the most undesirable regions have had repeated con- 
tacts with outsiders and have experienced changes 
brought about by the transfer of culture entailed in such move- 
ments of peoples. As both sedentary and migrating groups of 
farmers are tenacious of their culture traits, usually there is 
not an elimination of those of either (unless one population is 
obliterated as were many tribes of American Indians ) , but only 
a partial elimination and an amalgamation of the residues. 

The process of amalgamation is ordinarily not difficult, for 
migrating farming groups do not bring entirely different atti- 
tudes to the areas of their choice. As they do not wander aim- 
lessly and choose casually, but rather select areas to their taste, 
the ideas and techniques that they bring with them are fitting 
to the situation. Unless forced, such migrants choose regions 
that are environmentally satisfactory to their knowledge, equip- 
ment, and techniques. Thus one might expect that cultivated 
areas would exhibit few radical changes in the fundamental 



forms of land use throughout their historical development, and 
that their inhabitants would likewise show few radical differ- 
ences in attitudes toward the exploitation of the land from 
those people who preceded them. This conclusion seems to be 
borne out in Iberia. 


The relative importance of Iberian areas seems to have 
changed but little through all of the time of their development. 
Through history and the periods of time illuminated for us by 
archaeology, the peripheries have been prized and the interior 
has been an area of little appeal, except for the centuries of 
Visigothic control. These Romanized herders preferred the 
grazing lands of the bleak meseta to the productive agricultural 
lands of the fringes. On the peripheries the Mediterranean 
coasts have been consistently underlined, since the first Neo- 
lithic fanners arrived there, as the premium area of all of the 
peninsula. The area of the northern mountains, while not so 
heralded as the Mediterranean zone, has supported a relatively 
dense population throughout all time for which there is infor- 
mation. The Romans found large numbers of people who had 
been long rooted there, and even the recent industrialization 
of parts of this zone, which has made dramatic social and eco- 
nomic changes, has not brought about an important shift in the 
balance of population of the peninsula. The west coast has con- 
sistently had less appeal for migrants perhaps because it lies 
farther from the source of immigration but the population 
density has been surprisingly high, at least in the northwest, 
since the late Neolithic period. 

On the other hand, the historical zones of disinterest remain 
unattractive for habitation. The meseta has always been an area 
of sparse settlement, an area of the import of ideas and techni- 
cal improvements from the peripheries, where contact with 
other cultures has begotten political and military ferment but 
hardly cultural originality. Even the reconquest, although 



chiefly the achievement of meseta kingdoms, was given its first 
impulse in the northern periphery by men of the north or possi- 
bly the northwest; l it was aimed at the profit to be had from 
the southern peripheries. It has been, and is, an area of strong 
local cultural character, not because of its own ferment, but 
because it is an area in which the contrasting ideas of disparate 
peripheries can be blended. Aside from simple geography, this 
fact is the basis of its political importance. 

Whatever knowledge we have of the historical and prehis- 
torical backgrounds of the peninsula indicates that changes 
have been "more of the same." Migrations and cultural intro- 
ductions have come from comparable environments, and the 
areas chosen by immigrants have been elected in terms of en- 
vironmental preference. Changes have been mostly of degree, 
not of kind. The developments of culture and techniques have 
increased earlier capacities of the areas involved, but have not 
changed their relative importance. Humid Iberia has been 
dominantly Central European in the basis of its culture for as 
far back as we have knowledge. This equates with the facts of 
climate, soils, and vegetation, which are closely similar to those 
of Central and northern Europe. The same can be said for the 
south. The Iberian Mediterranean bears the same relation to 
the eastern Mediterranean in its physical nature and in its cul- 
tural development. 

The population pattern of the present is approximately that 
of all earlier time, insofar as we know it, with unimportant 
exceptions. For example, during the "desolation" of Alfonso I 
and the succeeding centuries, in parts of the meseta the popu- 
lation was reduced. This change, however, merely accentuated 
the normal condition, sparsity in the meseta as opposed to the 
well-populated peripheries. Today the areas of slowest increase 
in population are meseta provinces, which have a history of the 
lowest population densities of the peninsula. 2 Even Madrid 

1 See above, Chap. 11. 

2 Luis de Hoyos Sainz, La Densidad de p oblation y el acrecentamiento 
en Espana, pp. 178-179. 




does not bring about an exception to the general historical 
situation. Its growth, comparable to the recent world-wide 
urban growth and the growth of political capitals, has been 
great. If the figures for the present city are added to those of 
the meseta, the relation between meseta and periphery is some- 
what altered, but insufficiently to shift the balance. The areas 
of greatest increase are the historical and prehistorical zones 
of attraction along the fringes. 

The same conclusion may be bolstered more specifically in 
the case of Portugal. For example, the interest of the Mediter- 
raneans became attenuated with the decrease northward of the 
summer dry period. The Carthaginians limited their activities 

almost entirely to the south and southwest coasts. The Greeks 


may have traded with the north, but the last of the Greek 
-oussa names toward the north was that near Lisbon, at the 
beginning of the transition from Mediterranean to north Euro- 
pean climate. The Mediterranean Romans showed an avid 
interest in Galicia at the outset, 2 but after the gold sands were 
worked out they paid scant attention to any of the north except 
for purposes of strategic control. The same lack of interest was 
true of the Visigoths, and the Moslem distaste for the rainy 
lands was obvious. They could not have been evicted so quickly 

had thev wanted to hold the north. 


On the contrary, the Central Europeans made their strongest 
mark in the north country that was similar to their homeland 
in Central Europe. Not only did they like it but they needed 
the forests for their animals/ whereas the Mediterraneans, with 
their more casual interest in the care of animals, had no such 
point of view. This forestland exploitation was a feature of the 
life of the pre-Indo-European immigrants as well as that of the 
Celts and of the Swabians. 

The middle region of Portugal, between the Tejo and Douro 

3 Juan Maluquer de Motes, "Los Pueblos de la Espana celtica," His- 
toria de Espana, Tomo I, Vol. Ill, Ft. 1, 9, 79. 

4 Grahame Clarke, "Farmers and Forests in Neolithic Europe," Antiq- 
uity, XIX, No. 74 (June, 1945), 67, 70. 



rivers, is transitional geomorphologically, in climate, soils, and 
vegetation. Culturally it shows a mixture of traits, derived from 
the north on the one hand and from the south on the other. 
This is clearly indicated in the maps taken from Lautensach's 
study of Arabic and Germanic topographic names. 5 

A review of the history of land-use in the peninsula indicates 
a considerable conservatism for all major areas. 

5 Hermann Lautensach, "Uber die topographischen Namen arabischen 
Ursprungs in Spanien und Portugal," Die Erde, Nos. 3-4 (March-April, 
1954), pp. 219-243. 


The Geographical Basis of 

Portuguese Political Independence: 

A Summation 


HILE THIS WORK is primarily concerned with 
Portugal, the evidence considered in it has been 
drawn widely from areas throughout the peninsula. 
In conclusion it will be well to focus especially upon 
Portugal, in a summation of the factors that have conduced to 
its separateness and to its independence. I shall discuss them 
in what seems to me to be the order of their importance. 

In the first place, and of crucial importance, are the imme- 
morially old cultural differences between the humid periphery 
of the peninsula and the meseta. These are basically associated 
with the physical differences of the areas involved. Thus all of 
the north and northwest is set apart from the remainder of the 
peninsula. In the second place, the present international border, 
throughout most of its extent, runs through zones of disinterest, 
imposed by physical conditions. These zones have isolated 
Portugal, especially in the north, the cradle area of Portuguese 
independence. Thirdly, there was the political isolation of pres- 
ent northwest Portugal during parts of the eighth and ninth 



centuries, following the creation of the so-called "desert" lands 
by Alfonso I. During this period an early line of cultural sub- 
division was made more pronounced, and economic ties were 
re-oriented in such fashion that Galicia and Portugal were 
drawn apart. Fourthly, there were the troubles of the meseta 
kingdoms prior to and at the time of Affonso Henriques. Al- 
though this fact was of lesser importance than the factors out- 
lined above, it had great immediate importance. The Portu- 
guese had freedom of action that would have been impossible 
had they been opposed by the full power of the kings of Leon. 
The above factors are salient, for they were crucial to the 
establishment of freedom in the germ cell of the Portuguese 
state, whereas the extensions southward from that region were 
partly a result of political opportunism, after the northern 
nucleus had been established as an independent unit. 

Aside from the factors enumerated above, there were others 
less important, yet contributing to Portuguese independence. 
For example, even after the time of Affonso Henriques, Spain 
continued to be beset with internal difficulties which occupied 
her attention. Even more important than this was the Spanish 
concern with the loot to be gained from the Moslem kingdoms 
to the south. These Spanish preoccupations offered Portugal 
relative freedom from threats to her independence. Particularly 
after 1267, peace offered the opportunity to assimilate the 
southern lands, the Alentejo and the Algarve, which had be- 
come integral parts of the Portuguese state by the time that 
Spain had ended its Moslem conquest in 1492. 

Much has been written and said about Portuguese position 
relative to the Atlantic. Part of it has been sheer mysticism. But 
after that element has been discarded, there is merit in the idea 
that this position has contributed to Portuguese independence. 
In the first place, due to partial isolation, it offered Portugal 
the opportunity to turn her back upon Iberian turmoil, just as 
Holland was able to ignore Germany. 1 

1 For this comparison see Otto Jessen, "Politisch-geographische Be- 
trachtungen iiber die Iberische Halbinsel," Freie Wege Vergleichender 
Erdkunde, pp. 118-139, especially pp. 131-134. 



Yet no freedom of action would have served, had Portugal 
not been equipped to take advantage of it. Here again good 
fortune was a factor. Few countries have a harbor of the quality 
of that of Lisbon, and the harbors of Porto, Setubal, and others 
along the west and south coasts serve most parts of the country. 
They are an obvious invitation to the sea. Not the smallest item 
in Portugal's luck is the fact that none of the international rivers 
is navigable into Spain, so that there has been no tendency for 
either country to follow the stream beyond the border. How- 
ever, as ports may be valuable even without further inland 
navigation, the Portuguese harbors might have tempted Spain 
had she needed them. Luckily for Portugal there is no part of 
Spain, except for the very sparsely populated section in the 
province of Caceres and a part of the middle Tajo River valley, 
that is closer to Lisbon than to one of the Spanish ports. The 
ria, or river-mouth, harbors of Galicia are infinitely superior to 
the harbor of Porto, as that of Cadiz is to those of the Algarve. 

The association with England was mutually advantageous. 
Both countries profited by the trade that was established. 
Portugal also received much-needed support on several occa- 
sions when otherwise it might well have lost its independence. 

Portuguese independence and the reconquest of her terri- 
tories from the Moslems came concurrently with improved 
techniques in navigation, and when Portugal was in a position 
to take advantage of them. These techniques were to be 
credited partly to the Arabs, who also offered specific knowl- 
edge as to the areas of Africa, and within Portugal there were 
men suitable to the opportunities available. Under such condi- 
tions opened the great Age of Discoveries, commonly associated 
with the name of Prince Henry, the Navigator. The Age of 
Discoveries created a sense of common experience, common 
pride, and a community of interest for all parts of the country, 
welding it together as perhaps nothing else could have done. 

The division between modern Portugal and Galicia cannot 
be satisfactorily explained by age-old differences, even by those 
that have existed since prehistoric time notably the physical 
differences between the two peoples involved, and the sugges- 



tive fact of the Roman division along the Minho River because 
modern Galicia is closely allied to Portugal in its language and 
customs. The separation of the two areas, politically, results 
partly from the fact that Galician physical connections with 
Spain are better than those between Spain and Portugal. It 
results also, again in part only, from the fact that its emotional 
ties with Spain have been strong ever since the time of the 
establishment of the great peregrination to Santiago de Com- 
postela, which bound the area to Spain in a very positive sense. 
There is also the important fact, albeit negative, that Galicia 
did not take part with Portugal in the Age of Discoveries. The 
sense of common experience in this achievement which is felt 
by all Portuguese is lacking to Galicians. On the contrary, 
through the centuries that have elapsed since Galicia was sepa- 
rated from the culturally similar Minho, its economy has be- 
come closely geared into that of Spain. Its harbors and pastoral 
industry have become essential to Spanish economy. Through 
time, the political boundary, somewhat arbitrary at first, has 
become culturally satisfactory, if not perfect. 


Through the history and prehistory of the area of present 
Portugal, there seems to have been a general lack of interest 
in the region. The area was offside and apparently little ex- 
ploited throughout most of prehistory. There is almost no evi- 
dence of Upper Paleolithic occupation nor of settlement during 
most of the Neolithic, much of the Bronze Age, and consider- 
able parts of the Iron Age. The Tartessians had but slight 
interest even in the Algarve, an area physically similar to their 
own. To the conquerors of Iberia, Portugal has always been a 
largely unwanted, but sometimes troublesome land, which had 
to be taken under control to secure the places of greater profit 
elsewhere in the peninsula, Phoenicians and Carthaginians 
were little attracted, except to small areas of the south. Greek 
interest was even less than that of the Punic peoples. To the 
Romans only limited areas were attractive; the remainder was 



occupied and controlled only because its occupants presented 
a threat to their use of desirable territories, especially that of 
the lower Guadalquivir River. Within Portugal proper the only 
areas of primary importance for the Romans were those of the 
lower Tejo River, Beja, Evora, the Algarve in part, and a few 
others of lesser importance. For the most part Roman interest 
was attracted elsewhere. The Visigoths had even less interest 
than did the Romans but assumed control for essentially the 
same reasons that had prompted Rome. It was Swabian in- 
transigence that prompted the Visigoths to end the independ- 
ence of the Swabian kingdom in the late sixth century. Moslem 
interest, like that of the other Mediterranean conquerors, was 
mostly confined to areas that are climatically Mediterranean. 

The exceptions to the above statements apply to the north. 
To the unidentified prehistoric Central European farmers, and 
to the Celts and the Swabians, the humid northwest of the 
peninsula was attractive in itself, and the early fundamentals 
of Portuguese culture are largely to be traced to these peoples. 

Spain at times has wanted to "fill out the peninsula," but with 
no more than this vague and ultimately profitless mystique on 
the one hand and the meagreness of Portuguese territory on 
the other, she has made little consistent effort. Actually, Spain 
needs very little that now appertains to Portugal. The economy 
of Portugal, like that of Spain, is based on agriculture and stock 
raising, and the chief products of one country duplicate those 
of the other. Furthermore, Spain has already in her possession 
nearly all of the good irrigable lowlands near the border, those 
of the Guadiana, the Alagon, the Salor, and the Tajo around 
Alcantara. To the west of these there are large areas of little 
promise, for the most part, before the fertile coastal regions are 
reached. The only good reason for Spanish desire to control 
Portugal now aside from the megalomaniac drive for prestige 
through size which afflicts most national states would be 
based upon a matter of defense strategy. 

Portugal is an excellent land for a frugal, self-sufficient agri- 
culture. The proof of this can be seen in the number and variety 
of things that can be cultivated there. But it does not offer 



surpluses for absentee owners nor does it lend itself to large 
ownership. 2 It offers no prize for conquest, but only satisfaction 
to humble fanners on the land. The values of Portugal are 
fundamental but unappropriable. They can be realized only by 
people with the age-old traditions and techniques of frugality, 
such as those of the Portuguese farmers. 

2 The Alentejo, of course, is to be excluded from the above two state- 
ments. It is an area of large estates and of absentee ownership. The great 
bulk of the population of Portugal is not there, however, but in areas for 
which the above statements are valid. 


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Acid-humic soil: areas of, 47 

Acorns: Celtic dependence upon, 78 

Affonso Henriques: revolts of, against 
Theresa, 167; proclaims independ- 
ence of Portugal, 168; reign of, 174, 
175, 213; mentioned, 155, 165, 173, 

Afonso Henriques. See Affonso 

Africa: Germanic tribes move to, 127 

Agadir. See Gadir 

Agriculture: affected by rivers, 19; ef- 
fect of, upon soils, 48; of Neolithic 
people, 64-65; of Megalithic people, 
66; early Portuguese lag in advance- 
ment of, 68; of the Celts, 73, 75-78, 
84-85; as women's work, 75-76; of 
Tartessians, 92; in the Algarve, 106; 
in southern Portugal, 117; along 
humid fringe, 108-109; introduction 
of draft animals into, 119; affected 
by plow, 119; varying attitudes of 
Germans toward, 122-123; as factor 
in migration, 129; in the Algarve, 
141; and irrigation by Moslems, 
141, 142; in Tejo Valley, 142; af- 
fected by war, 158-159, 160, 161; 
affected by isolation of Portugal, 
162-163; in relation to love of the 
land, 172; Portuguese, encouraged 

by kings, 179-180; and use of the 
land, 179-182; as base of Portu- 
guese economy, 185, 216; on Leon- 
ese plateau, 195; at mouth of 
Guadiana River, 199; effect of soil 
on, 199; rich lands for, 206; and 
contribution of farmers to Portu- 
guese culture, 216 

Agropedic soil: areas of, 48 

Agueda River: as boundary, 200; men- 
tioned, 21, 22 

Akhila: allied with Moslems, 144-145 

Akragas: 98n.42 

Alagon River: irrigable lands of, 216 

Alalia: founding of, 96; mentioned, 99 

Alalia: battle of, 114 

Alans: entry of into Iberia, 124-125; 
location of in Iberia, 125; move of 
to Africa, 127; mentioned, 122 

Alava, province of: Celts in, 72 

Alazis, Abde (Moslem leader): 139, 

Albuquerque: 189 

Alcacer do Sal: Moslem conquest of, 
139; under the Moslems, 142, 143; 
falls to crusaders, 174, 175; men- 
tioned, 89 n. 4, 91, 158 

Alcala: site of, 67 

Alcalar dolmen: development of, 67 

Alcanices: 169 



Alcafiices, Treaty of: 187 
Alcantara: 12, 202 n. 12, 216 
Alentejo Province: physical character- 
istics of, 26, 29; soil of, 50; vege- 
tation of, 58; Argaric finds in, 
69 n. 31; Moslem conquest of, 139; 
Moslems settle in, 141; inclusion of, 
in Portugal, 171-172; influence of 
herding peoples on, 172; blend of 
agriculture and pastoralism in, 182 
n. 34; growth of nationalism in, 185; 
sparseness of population in, 197 n. 
8; area of large estates, 217 n. 2; 
mentioned, 23, 213. See also Lower 
Alentejo; Upper Alentejo 

Alexander II (Pope): 164 

Alexander III (Pope): supports Portu- 
guese independence, 168 

Alfonso I: conquests of, 148; extends 
Christian control, 148; Desert Zone 
of, 148-151, 192, 208, 213; men- 
tioned, 140 

Alfonso II: receives aid from Charle- 
magne, 151; document of, 153; 
mentioned, 156 

Alfonso III: Chronicle of, 140, 146; 
resettlement policy continued, 152; 
moves capital to Lisbon, 179 n. 21; 
mentioned, 142, 156 

Alfonso VI: death of, 165; war with 
Affonso Henriques, 168; mentioned, 
156, 160, 164 

Alfonso X: 177 

Alfonso of Aragon: marriage to Urraca, 
165; defeats Almoravides, 160-161; 
mentioned, 167 

Alfonso the Great. See Alfonso III 

Alfonso Raimundez: 166 

Algarve Province: physical character- 
istics of, 30; rainy season of, 36; 
climatic similarity of, to North 
Africa, 38; winter conditions in, 
41 n. 6; soil of, along coast, 50; 
Argaric culture in, 69; Ligurian 
people in, 91; Carthaginian settle- 
ments along coast of, 106; Moslems 
settle in, 141; inclusion of, in Por- 
tugal, 171-173; isolation of, 172; 
part played by, in Portuguese ex- 
plorations, 185; Romans in, 216; 
mentioned, 213 

Aljubarrota: Portuguese \ictoryat, 184 

Aljustrel: copper mines of, 106 

Almacari: cited, 146 n. 10 

Al-Mansur: crushes revolts, 158; death 
of, 159; mentioned, 154 

Almeria, province of: 60 

Almeria culture: spread of, into Iberia, 
65; excavation of, at Los Millares, 

Almohades: aid Iberian Moslems, 161; 
and drive of 1191, 175; mentioned, 

Almoravides: aid Iberian Moslems, 
160; mentioned, 172 

Alturas Mountains: 12. See also as 

Alvao Mountains: 11, 12. See also as 

AJvor: falls to crusaders, 174 

Amarela Mountains: 19 

Andalusia: Almeria culture in, 65; 
silver mines of, 89; Ligurians in, 91; 
association with Algarve, 173; Mos- 
lem center of wealth, 174; men- 
tioned, 106 

Animals: domestication of dog, 61; 
veneration of, 74, 75; as food, 75; 
Celtic dependence upon fat of, 78; 
draft, introduction of, into agricul- 
ture, 119 

Aquae Flaviae. See Chaves 

Aquitaine: 108 

Arabs: in Moslem army, 139, 140; 
influence on Portugal, 214 

Aragon, province of: quarrel with 
Castile, 178; wheat of, 181; men- 
tioned, 160 

Ardobast (Visigoth king): 145 

Arganthonios (Tartessian king): men- 
tioned, 96 n. 32; reign of, 97 

Argaric culture: 69 

Arian creed: Swabian acceptance of, 

Aristotle: quoted, 82 

Arosa: rias of, 55 

Arts and crafts: of Magdalenian cave 
culture, 61; of Paleolithic hunters, 
60-61; of Neolithic people, 64; of 
Megalithic people, 66-68; and 
sepulchral structures, 67; and cam- 
paniform vase, 67; and dolmens, 66, 
67; and venacos, 74-75 



Asdingian Vandals: area settled by, in 
Iberia, 125; and move to Africa, 127 

Asia Minor: lack of tin in, 93 

As Montanhasi extension of, into the 
Beiras, 21; mentioned, 12 

Astorga: founded, 116; mentioned, 
139, 170 

Astorga, province of: taken by Alfonso 
I, 148 

Asturias, province of: culture of, 63, 
64; Celts in, 72; Celtic wagon in, 
73; Moslems in, 146; physical an- 
thropology of, 168 n. 20; mentioned, 
12, 60, 113, 139, 150 

Asturica Augusta. See Astorga 

Atlantic coast of Portugal: 46. See 
also Atlantic Ocean 

Atlantic Ocean: influence of, on Iberia, 
32; importance of, in extension of 
Portugal, 173-174; importance of, 
in reconquest, 174-175; as aid in 
military operations, 173-174; stra- 
tegic importance of, 183, 185, 213. 
See also Oceans 

Augustus (Emperor): division of 
Iberia under, 118; mentioned, 116 

Austria: Hallstatt culture in, 83 n. 62 

Avila Gate: 22 

Avila province: uerracos of, 74; taken 
by Alfonso I, 149 

Ayamonte: held by Portugal, 177 

Azorean high: areas of, 36, 38, 39; 
mentioned, 41 

Azores: settlement of, 184 

Badajoz: site of, 142; prince of, 159; 

birthplace of Godoy, 188 
Balearic Islands: Argaric culture in, 

69; mentioned, 95 
Baltic Sea: 45 
Barca d'Alva: 19, 21, 200 
Barcelos: 153 
Barley: cultivation of, in Portugal, 68; 

cultivated by Celts, 75 
Basalt deposits: of coastal fringe, 26 
Basque area: Celts in, 72 
Basques: in Iberia, 91 
Bay of Biscay: 38, 40 n. 5 
Beech Region: of Western Europe, 

52, 54 
Beira Littoral: physical characteristics 

of, 24, 26 

Beira Provinces: soil of, 47; growth of 
nationalism in, 185. See also Beira 
Littoral; Lower Beira; Transmon- 
tane Beira; Upper Beira 

Beja: Turditanians in area of, 91; aids 
Seville, 139; Moslems in, 143; 
Romans in, 216 

Bejar Gate: 22 

Belgas Celts: 83-84 

Berbers: in Moslem army, 139; dis- 
satisfied with Arab rule', 147; revolt 
against Arabs, 148 

Berlenga Islands: 26 

Black Sea: 122 

Boniface ( Roman governor ) : 127 

Boundaries: determining factors of, 
3-4; of Spain, 177-178; in relation 
to communication, 200; set by 
rivers, 200-203. See also Portugal: 
boundaries of 

Bracara Augusta. See Braga 

Braga: relative humidity of, 35; sum- 
mer rainfall in, 36; founding of, 
116; Metropolitan of, 131, 170; 
capital of Swabians, 131; Priscillian 
heresy in, 135; Moslem destruction 
of, 139; conquered by Alfonso I, 
148; attempt to re-establish, 151; 
mentioned, 118, 153 

Braganca: 197 

Braganca, Duke of: leads revolt 
against Spain, 187 

Bramao, Luis: soil map of, noted, 
51 n. 13 

Braulius of Saragossa: 137 

Brazil: occupies Montevideo, 188 

British Columbia: Intense cultivation 
of soil in, 48 

British Isles: soil of, 48; and contact 
with Galicia, 92. See also England 

Bronze: used in Argaric culture, 69; 
Greek demand for, 102 

Bronze Age: in Portugal, 68, 69, 216; 
migration into Iberia during, 71; 
Celts in Iberia during, 73; men- 
tioned, 66, 67 

Brutus, Decimus Jrniius: campaign of, 
113, 116 

Brythonic Celts: 84 

Burgos: soil of, 48 

Bussaco Mountains: 22 



Cabreira Mountains: 11 
Caceres: as Moslem fort, 161 
Caceres Province: soil of, 50; men- 
tioned, 214 

Cadiz: as commercial center, 187; 
harbor of, 214; mentioned, 129. See 

also Gadir 

Caia River: as boundary, 202 
Calcareous materials: soils developed 

from, 46, 47, 77; occurrence of> 50; 

mentioned, 57 
Caldeirao Mountains: in the Algarve, 

30; serras of, 172; mentioned, 29, 

41 n. 6 

Calem: 125 n. 35 
Calixtus II ( Pope): 156 
Callaeci: as name of area, 113 
Callaeci: of Northern Portugal, 111 
Callaeci Bracarenses: under Romans, 

118; mentioned, 112 
Callaeci Lucenses: under Romans, 

118; mentioned, 112 
Campaniform vase: 67 
Campo Major: acquired by Portugal, 


Cangas de Onis: battle near, 145, 147 
Cantabria: similarity to Aquitaine, 

108; mentioned, 75 
Cantabrian Mountains: podsol soil of, 

45; herders of, 66; mentioned, 60 
Cantabrian region: 87 
Cape Carvoeiro: 26 
Cape Finisterre: 35 
Cape Gata: 94 
Cape Mondego: 26 
Cape S. Vicente: 94 
Capsian culture: spread of, into Iberia, 

Capsians: 61-62. See also Immigrants 

to Iberia 

Caracalla (Emperor): 118 
Caramulo Mountains: 21, 22 
Carboniferous schists: of lower Alen- 

tejo, 29 
Carmona: Phoenician ivories from, 

93 n. 22 

Cartage Nova. See Mastia 
Carthage: founding of, 94; expansion 

of, 97; rivalry with Greece, 97-98; 

rise in power, 101-102; use of 

mercenaries, 103106; demands on 

Iberians, 114; mentioned, 99, 113 
Carthaginians. See Immigrants to 

Iberia: Carthaginians, from eastern 

Mediterranean cultures (ancient) 
Cassiterides: Greek term for Galicia, 


Castelo Branco: 23 
Castelo Rodrigo : acquired by Portugal, 

Castile: rise of, 159-162; quarrel with 

Aragon, 178; pastoral industry of, 

181; mentioned, 157 
Castros: origin and structure of, 79, 

Catalonia: use of iron in, 71; revolt 

against Spain, 187; mentioned, 113, 

157, 160 

Catholicism: in Iberia, 133-136 
Caucasia: lack of tin in, 93 
Cavado River: 14 
Celanova, Treaty of: 175, 177 
Celtiberian War: 77 
Celts. See Immigrants to Iberia: Celts, 

Central Europeans (early) 
Cempses tribe: 82, 83 
Center, the. See Centra, o 
Central European Iberia: 9 
Central Europeans, early. See Immi- 
grants to Iberia: Central Europeans 

(early), Celts 

Centra, o: as core of Portuguese in- 
dividuality, 14; extension into the 

Beiras, 21 

Cerealis (Roman governor): 118 
Cerealis (settlement). See Evora 
Ceuta: conquest of, 185 
Chanca (Chanza) River: as boundary, 


Charlemagne: aids Alfonso II, 151 
Chaves: bishop of, 135; conquered by 

Alfonso, 148; mentioned, 169, 192 
Chestnuts: of northwest Iberia, 53; as 

source of food, 78 
Christians: reconquest of Iberia by, 

144-163; and policy of raid for 

quick profit, 160, 161 
Church, Portuguese: independence of, 


Cinesios tribe: 82, 83, 117n.24 
Citdnias: origin of, 79 



Citerior Spain: 118 

Citrus cultivation: of North Portugal 
55 b 

Ciudad Real: soil of, 50 

Ciudad Rodrigo: 170, 200 

Climate: as related to culture, 3-10 
passim, 61; of river valleys, 22; dif- 
ferences in, between oceanic and 
interior regions, 32; effect of Atlantic 
Ocean on, 32-33, 34-42 passim; 
and vegetation, 32, 36, 52, 53-58 
passim; of the Meseta, 34; of 
oceanic Iberia, 34-35; and seasonal 
drought, 35-36, 56; of Mediter- 
ranean Portugal, 36; changes in, 
from north to south, 36, 38; 
summer conditions of, 38-39; as 
affected by meteorological action, 
38-41, 57; winter conditions of, 
39-40; and equinoctial conditions, 
40-41; effect of, upon soils, 47, 
47_48, 49, 50, 51; as related to 
migration, 63; in relation to coloni- 
zation, 117, 123, 140-143; as factor 
in isolation of Portugal, 162-163; 
differences of southern provinces 
from nuclear Portugal in, 171; 
along Portuguese-Spanish border, 
190-203 passim; as persistent factor 
in continuity of cultures, 208 

Cluny, monks of: 156 

Coa River: valley of, 22; direction of 
flow, 22; drainage of, 22, 200; as 
boundary, 175; mentioned, 178 

Coast, the: of Minho Province, 14, 21 

Coastal fringe, the: topography of, 

Coimbra: diocese of, 131; Moslem 
conquest of, 139; Arab settlement 
near, 142; aid of, in repopulating 
North Portugal, 152; destroyed by 
al-Mansur, 158; mentioned, 12, 21, 
22, 24, 143, 153, 179 n. 21 

Collectivism: among Vacceos, 77-78; 
origin of in Iberia, 78 n. 42; re- 
placed by individual ownership, 

Colonization: of Greeks, 94-97; af- 
fected by topography, 140-143 
passim; affected by climate, 140- 
143 passim. See also Immigrants to 
Iberia; Migration 

Commerce: of Phoenicia, 87; of 
Greeks, 87, 101, 103; opportunity 
for, in Iberia, 89; of early traders 
in Iberian waters, 89; in metal, 93, 
94, 95, 97; and pirates at Gadir, 94; 
in olive oil and wine, 98; impor- 
tance of, in Phocaea, 99; routes for, 
99, 101, 102; as opening for coloni- 
zation, 114; of Moslems, 143; fos- 
tered by Atlantic Ocean, 183; with 
England, 183, 184, 214; in thriving 
Portuguese economy, 185; of Por- 
tugal during Spanish captivity, 188, 

Communication: ease of, related to 
national culture, 11-12; and con- 
struction of roads for control of 
provinces, 116; Braga as center of, 
131; routes of, for Moslems in Iberia, 
143; and truck-farming, 199; lack 
of, as related to boundaries, 200 

Conglomerates: of coastal fringe, 24; 
of the Algarve, 30 

Congress of Vienna: awards Olivenca 
to Portugal, 188 

Conios. See Cinesios 

Contenda de Moura: 189 

Conventus luridicus: boundaries of, 
172; inclusion of Algarve in, 173; 
mentioned, 118 

Copper: in Almeria culture, 65; in 
Argaric culture, 69; as trade article 
of Tartessians, 92; of the Alentejo, 
106; of Sto. Domingos, 199 

Cordoba: Berber march on, 148; men- 
tioned, 145, 158 

Corgo River: valley of, 169 

Corregidores: 181 

Covadonga, battle of: 145 7 147, 148 

Crafts. See Arts and crafts 

Cretaceous sandstones: of coastal 
fringe, 24, 26 

Croesus ( Lydian monarch ) : 99 

Crusaders: in Portugal, 173, 174 

Crystallines: 12, 16 

Culture, national or ethnic: defined, 
3-4; changes in, 4, 70; Paleolithic, 
60-61; Capsian, 61-62; of Muge, 
62-63; Asturian, 62-63; of Neo- 
lithic people, 64-65; of Almeria, 65, 
86; of Megalithic people, 66-68; 



and problems of chronology, 68; 
Argaric, 69; of Vacceos, 77-78; ad- 
justability of, 81, 85, 159; of eastern 
Mediterranean (ancient), 86-107 
passim; Greek, 86-93, 94-101 pas- 
sim; of Minoa, 86-87; political 
disparities of, 90-93; homogeneity 
of, 90; difficulties in identification 
of, 90-93; Phoenician, 93-94 pas- 
sim; Carthaginian, 99-107 passim; 
spread of, in relation to communi- 
cation, 106; of humid fringe, 108- 
113; Roman, 116-120 passim, 133- 
136; affected by introduction of 
plow, 119-120; of Germans, 121- 
136 passim; contribution to, by 
Swabians, 124, 133, 136; as factor 
in choice of land for settlement, 
127, 127-129; and Roman institu- 
tions, 133-136; of Moslems, 139- 
143 passim; patterns of, as factor in 
migration, 140-143; problems from 
lack of understanding of, 148; dif- 
ferences of southern provinces from 
nuclear Portugal in, 171; ambiguity 
of, in southern Portugal, 178; use 
of land in Portuguese and Spanish, 
179-182; related to economics, 182; 
importance of customs in, as laws, 
194; persistence of regions of, in 
Iberia, 206-211 

of the Celts: 71-79. See also Im- 
migrants to Iberia: Celts 

as related to climate: 3-10 passim. 
See Climate 

and environment (physical) : relation 
to a geographical area, 310 pas- 
sim; differences in, from geographi- 
cal region, 111; as affected by 
physical conditions, 131; relation to 
environment, 204-211; as determi- 
nant in choice of new environment, 

relation of, to political boundaries: 
117-118, 157, 172-173, 202. See 
also Portugal: boundaries of 

political influences on: 131, 137. 
See also Political developments 

in relation to Portugal's offside posi- 
tion: 68. See also Portugal: offside 
position of 

of Portugal: similarities to Spanish 
culture, 4-5; differences from Span- 
ish culture, 45; differences in rela- 
tion to regions of Portugal, 9; related 
to nationality of Portugal; unified, 
185; early fundamentals of, 216. 
See also Portugal: nationality of, 
isolation of 

and religion: under Roman rule, 
133-136; as factor in maintaining, 
145-163 passim. See also Religion 

as related to soils: 3-10 passim. See 
also Soils 

as related to topography: 3-10 pas- 
sim, 14. See also Topography 

Cynetes: See Cinesios 

Cyrus the Mede: 99 

Del Villar, Emilio H.: and classifica- 
tion of soils, 46, 47 

Deniz (Portuguese king). See Diniz 

Denmark: soil of, 48 

Depression of S. Marcos: 29 

Desert Zone of Alfonso I: establish- 
ment of, 149; conflicting theories as 
to origins of, 149-151; resettlement 
of, 152-154; mentioned, 148-151, 
192, 208, 213 

Diniz (Portuguese king): establishes 
eastern boundary, 178; known as 
Farmer King, 179-180 

Discoveries, Age of: 184, 214 

Dog: domestication of, 61 

Dolmens: possible origin of, 66; areas 
of location, 66, 67, 80. See also 

Dolomite beds: of the Algarve, 30 

Dom Diniz: of Portugal, 187 

Douro River: as southern limit of 
podsol soil, 46; settlements on, 152 
n. 35; as boundary, 172, 200; men- 
tioned. 12, 16, 22, 23, 26, 56, 111, 
116, 139, 169, 173, 175, 197. See 
also Duero River 

Drought. See Climate 

Duero River: 16, 19, 21, 77, 149, 156. 
See also Douro River 

Dune sand: of Portuguese coast, 26; 
areas of, 50 

Ebro River Valley: Almeria culture 
in, 65 



Economics: and topography, 19. See 
also Topography 

Edrisi: cited, 142, 143; twelfth-century 
report, 161 

Eforos: geography by, 82 

Egiga (Visigoth king): 144 

Egitania. See Idanha a Velha 

Egypt: pilgrims from, 156 

El Argar: site of Argaric culture, 69 

El Batallador. See Alfonso of Aragon 

Elvas: taken by Christians, 175, men- 
tioned, 197 

Emerita Augusta. See Merida 

England: commercial treaties with 
Portugal, 183-184; military alliance 
with Portugal, 184; Portugal's asso- 
ciation with, 214. See also British 

Entre-Douro-e-Minho. See Minho 

Entryways to Portugal. See Immi- 
grants to Iberia: passageways used 

Ephesus: 96 

Epipaleolithic people: at Muge, 63 

Epipaleolithic Period: 61 

Equinoctial conditions: in Iberia, 40- 

Eratosthenes: cited, 91 

Erges River: as boundary, 200 

Espinho: 24 

Estremadura: physical characteristics 
of, 24, 26; soil of, 57; importance 
of grazing in, 182 n. 34; mentioned, 

Etruria: 99 

Evora: Moslem conquest of, 139; taken 
from Moslems, 175; Romans in, 
216; mentioned, 117 

Exploration: effect of, on Portuguese 
nationality, 184; age of, 184, 214. 
See also Migration; Immigrants to 

Fafila: successor to Pelayo, 148 

Farmer king. See Diniz 

Faro: rainfall in, 38; Moslems settle 

near, 141 
Fault lines: of Minho Province, 14; of 

Upper Beira, 22; along Serra da 

Estreta, 24; on edge of Monchique 
Mass, 29; of the Algarve, 30 
Ferdinand I: victories of, 159-160; 
divides kingdom, 160; mentioned. 
155 n. 47 

Ferdinand II of Leon: 175 
Ferdinand IV of Castile: 187 
Ferdinand V: 181 

Ferdinand the Great. See Ferdinand I 
Fighting: loved by Celts, 79 
Figs: of North Portugal, 54, 55; in 

Algarve economy, 106 
Figueira da Foz: rainfall in y 38 
Fishing: early form of among Astu- 
rians, 64; opportunity for, in Iberia, 
89; at Gadir, 94; in southern Por- 
tugal, 106; in the Algarve, 173 
Flax: cultivated by Celts, 75 
Flints: of prehistoric peoples, 64 
Foia ( syenite formation ) : 29 
Food: animals as, 75; grain as, 75, 76, 
77, 142; nuts as, 76, 78; fruits 
as, 76; communal distribution of, 
77; figs as, 106; grapes as, 117; and 
political difficulties, 148 
France: podsol soil of, 45 
French Brittany: contact with Galicia, 


French settlers: in Iberia, 164 
Fruits: as export article of Portugal, 


Fuero Juzgo: applied in Leon, 159; 
cited, 180 

Gadir: foundation of, 93-94; threat to 
Tartessos, 98; mentioned, 103. See 
also Cadiz 

Galega soil: 48 

Galicia: summer in, 35, 36, 39; podsol 
soil of, 45; acid-humic soil of, 47; 
vegetation of, 55; rainfall in, 55; 
Celts in, 72; Celtic wagon still used 
in, 73; venacos in, 74; trade with, 
89; metal trade of, 92; decline of 
prosperity in, 101-102; under Au- 
gustus, 116; agriculture in, 119; 
Swabian influence on, 124, 129; 
cultural similarity to North Portugal, 
152-153; rebels against Leon, 154- 
155; reasons for separation from 
Portugal, 157, 169-170, 214-215; 



Raymond as viceroy, 164; part taken 
by Theresa, 167; physical anthro- 
pology of, 168 n. 20; entryways 
into, 170; Tamega River Valley as 
border of, 194; Roman interest in, 
210; ria harbors of, 214; cultural 
similarity to Portugal, 214-215; 
mentioned, 12, 19, 157; separation 
from Portugal, 214-215 

Garcia (Galician king): revolt against, 

Gates of Hercules: 101 

Gathering: as form of economy, 78 

Gelmierez, Diego (Archbishop): 156 

Geologic history: in creation of land- 
forms, 3-10 'passim, 11-31 passim 

Geology. See Geologic history; 

Gerez Mountains: serras of, 192; 
mentioned, 11, 12. See also as 

Germans. See Immigrants to Iberia: 

Gijon: 146 

Glacial Period: 61, 63 

Godoy: insists Olivenga kept by 
Spain, 188 

Goidelic Celts: 71, 84 

Gold: as trade article of Tartessians, 

Grain: in Tejo Valley, 142 

Granada: fall of, 162; mentioned, 178 

Granite formations: of Minho prov- 
ince, 12, 14; of Serra da Estrela, 
24; soils developed from, 46 

Grape cultivation: of North Portugal, 
55; introduction of, 98 n. 42; 117 

Greeks. See Immigrants to Iberia: 

Group of Friends of Olivenca: 188 

Guadalajara province: 61 

Guadalquiver River: agriculturists of, 
66; Tartessians in, 91; metal traffic 
in, 92, 93; silver mines near, 102; 
Moslems in, 143; Romans in area 
of, 216; mentioned, 9 

Guadiana River: Celts living near, 82; 
flood plain settled by Arabs, 142; 
as boundary, 177, 202; lands of, 
216; mentioned, 30, 172, 173, 199, 
202 n. 12 

Guarda: settled in 1197, 170; men- 
tioned, 12, 22, 200 

Guarda Gate: 22, 23 

Guimaraes: document of 841 from, 
153; battle near, 167; mentioned, 
151, 153, 179 n. 21 

Guipuzcoa, province of: 72 

Hallstatt culture: 80n.49 

Hallstatt techniques: of Goidelic Celts, 

Hannibal: army of, 103, 104 

Helvetians (Celts): 122 

Henry (Prince) the Navigator: 184, 

Henry of North Portugal: marriage to 
Theresa, 164; increases strength, 
166; death of, 166 

Herculano: cited, 149, 168 n. 20 

Herding: of Megalithic men, 66; of 
the Celts, 73-75, 75, 78, 84-85; at 
Gadir, 94; along humid fringe, 108- 
109; reduced by introduction of 
plow, 119; varying attitudes of Ger- 
mans toward, 122-123; as factor in 
migration, 127-129; effect of mili- 
tary raids on, 163; in Alentejo, 172; 
and use of land, 180-182; attitude 
of Visigoths toward, 180-181; as 
Spanish industry, 180-181; by Visi- 
goths, 206; as base of Portuguese 
economy, 216 

Hermos (Gediz) River: 96 

Herodotus: 82, 95 

Hesiod: cited, 91 

Hiram of Tyre: 93 

Holland: soil of, 48 

Holly Region: vegetation of, 54; men- 
tioned, 52 

Homen River: 14 

Homo Sapiens: appearance of in 
Iberia, 60 

Horsts: of Marao and Padrela, 14 

Huelva: area of, 91, 173 

Huelva helmet: 94 n. 24 

Humid Iberia: vegetation of, 53-56; 
subdivision of, 54-56; dominantly 
Central European in culture, 208 

Humid siallitic soil: area of, 47 

Hunting: by Paleolithic men, 60, 61; 
affected by climate, 63; by Celts, 
75, 76n.29 



Iberia: See Atlantic Ocean; Bounda- 
ries; Central European Iberia; Cli- 
mate; Culture; European Iberia; 
Humid Iberia; Immigrants to Iberia; 
Mediterranean Iberia; Oceanic 
Iberia; Oceans; Occupations; Poli- 
tical developments; Population; 
Portugal; Portuguese; Rivers; Spain; 
Temperature; Topography; Vegeta- 

Iberian culture: possible foundation 
of, 65. See also Culture 

Iberian mercenaries: used by Carthage, 

Iberian Peninsula. See Iberia 

Ibiza: founding of, 97; mercenaries 
from, 103; mentioned, 95, 106 

Ichnoussa. See Sardinia 

Idanha: diocese of, 131 

Idanha a Velha: Moslem conquest of, 

Idari, Ibne: cited, 146 

Idatius (Bishop): 135, 152 n. 35 

Illyrian people: 71 

Immigrants to Iberia: attracted to en- 
vironments comparable to previous 
homes, 208-211; and contributions 
of, to Portuguese culture, 216 

attitudes of, to importance of Por- 
tugal. See Portugal: offside position 

Carthaginians: appearance in Iberia., 
87; domination of western Mediter- 
ranean, 99-101, 103-107; war with 
Greeks, 99-101; settlements in Por- 
tugal, 106; influence on Algarve, 
173; in Portugal, 210, 215; men- 
tioned, 216 

Celts: 71-85; migration of, into 
Iberia, 70, 71; spread of, through- 
out Iberia, 71-73; economy of, 73- 
78, 84-85; veneration of, for ani- 
mals, 74, 75; first contacts with 
earlier Iberians, 79; and knowledge 
of iron, 79; and love of fighting, 79; 
houses of, in Iberia, 81; ao^'ustability 
of, 81, 85; spread o culture of, 82; 
Roman identification of, in Iberia, 
82; modern opinion regarding 
identification of, 83; subdivision of 

on language basis, 83-85; variations 
among, 84-85; Mediterranean influ- 
ences on, 85; appearance in Iberia, 
87; used as mercenaries, 103; and 
resistance to Romans, 114, 115; and 
contact with Swabians, 129; influ- 
ence of, on Algarve, 17S; in Por- 
tugal, 210, 216; contributions of, to 
early Portuguese culture, 216. See 
also Belgas; Brythonic; Goidelic; 
Helvetians; Vacceos 

Central Europeans (early): 70-85; 
migrating into Iberia, 9; Urnfields 
people, 70; Indo-European peoples, 
70-79; mark of, on Portugal, 210, 

-eastern Mediterranean people (an- 
cient): 86-107; earliest contacts, 
86-87; a westward movement, 87- 
89; Punic settlers, 89; reasons of, 
for migration, 89. See also Immi- 
grants to Iberia: Phoenicians, Car- 
thaginians, Greeks 

French leaders; 164 

Germans: 121-136; migration with 
Celts, 70, 85; two divisions of, 122; 
culture of, 122-124; differences of 
in attitude toward land, 123-124; 
and distribution of lands, 124-125; 
spread of power of, in Iberia, 124- 

Greeks: 65, 94-97; encounter Tar- 
tessians, 65, 92, 93; in contact with 
Iberian Celts, 82; appearance in 
Iberia, 87, 89; early contacts with 
Iberia, 90, 98, 114; and lack of tin, 
93; settlements of, 95; intimacy of, 
with Tartessians, 97; relations with 
Iberians, 97-99; competition with 
Phoenicians, 97-99; war with 
Carthage, 99-101; myths of, and 
Carthaginian domination, 101; com- 
mercial activity in Iberia ended, 
103; influence of, on Algarve, 173; 
in Portugal, 210, 215. See aho 
Phocaean Greeks 

Moslems: 137-143; entry into 
Iberia, 138; conquest of Iberia, 139- 
143; areas of Portugal preferred by, 
141-143; dissension among king- 
doms of, 171-172; in Portugal, 216; 



loss of Iberia through the recon- 
quest, 144-163 

passageways used by: 60, 61-62, 
64, 86, 113, 124, 169 

Phoenicians: 63, 97-99; early con- 
tact with Iberia, 90; contact with 
Tartessians, 92, 93; found Gadir, 
93, 94; relations with Iberians, 97- 
99; competition with Greeks, 97 
99; in Portugal, 215 

prehistoric: 60-69; Paleolithic hunt- 
ers, 60-61; Capstans, 61-62; post- 
Paleolithic, 62-68; muge colony, 
62-63; Asturians, 63-64; Neolithic 
people, 64; from the Sahara to 
Almeria, 65; Megalithic phenomena, 

Romans: 113-120; conflict with 
Carthaginians, 113; entry into 
Iberia, 113-114; resistance to, 114- 
115; conquest and settlement by, 
1 1 6-1 17 ; administrative divisions 
of, 117-118; effect on social and 
economic life of Iberia, 119-120; 
introduce individual ownership of 
land, 120; lasting nature of changes 
effected by, 120; in Portugal, 210, 
215, 216 ' 

Swabians: 122-125: as west Ger- 
mans, 122; blend with Celts, 122; 
economy of, 123; contribution to 
Portugal, 123; locations in Iberia, 
123-125, 129, 131; entry into Iberia, 
124; defeated by Visigoths, 127, 
137; contact with Romans, 129; 
contacts of, with Celts, 129; bounda- 
ries of kingdom of, 131; land sys- 
tem of, 133; in Portugal, 210, 216; 
influence of, on Portugal, 216 

Visigoths: as East Germans, 122; 
economy of, 122; entry into Iberia, 
125; alliance with Rome, 125; de- 
feat of Vandals and Alans, 125-127; 
location areas of, in Iberia, 129; 
absorb Swabians, 137; decline of, in 
Iberia, 138; resurgence of, 144-147; 
influence of, on Leon, 159; and 
Iberian region of control, 206; fond- 
ness of for herding on meseta, 206; 
in Portugal, 216 

Individuality of Portugal. See Por- 
tugal: individuality of 

Intermediate siallitic soil: area of, 47, 

International Society of Soil Science: 

Iria Flavia: diocese of, 140 

Irish Celts: veneration of animals by, 
75; mentioned, 76 

Iron: introduced into Iberia, 71; Celtic 
knowledge of, 79; increased use of, 

Iron Age: Portugal during, 215; men- 
tioned, 83 n. 62, 84 n. 62 

Isabel of Spain: 181 

Isidore of Beja: cited, 145 

Italicus, Silius: cited, 111 

Ivories, Phoenician: from Carmona, 
93 n. 22 

Jalaqui, Ibn: kingdom of, 142 
James (Saint): pilgrimage to tomb of, 

Jerez helmet: earliest Greek find of, 

in Spain, 94 n. 24 
John of Gaunt: 184 
Jurassic age formations: of coastal 

fringe, 24, 26; of the Algarve, 30 
Juromenho: taken by Christians, 175 

Kolaios: voyage of, 96 

La Corufia: 12 

Lamego: diocese of, 131; bishop of, 

Lancaster, Duke of. See John of Gaunt 

Landforms: of Northwest Portugal, 
11-14; of Tras-os-Montes, 14-19; of 
the Beiras, 21-26; of the Alentejo, 
28-29; of the Algarve, 30. See also 
Fault lines; Horsts; Mesas; Pene- 
plain; Schists; Topography 

Larouco: serras of, 192 

La Tene culture: 83, 84 n. 62 

Latif undid system: 197 n, 8 

Lead: trade article of Tartessians, 92 

Leon: 170 

Leon Province: border zone near, 19; 
relative humidity of, 35; soil of, 49; 
Celts in, 72; taken by Alfonso I, 



148; devastation of by al-Mansur, 
154; during resettlement of north- 
west, 156-157; resettlement of, 157, 
169; decline of, 158-159; object of 
Moslem attack, 162; mentioned, 160 

Lerida province: 60 

Libyans: 62 

Ligurian people: location in Iberia, 
90, 91; mentioned, 71 

Lima River: 12, 19, 153, 192. See also 
Limia River 

Limestone: in the Algarve, 30; occur- 
rence of, 50 

Limia River: 116, 194. See also Lima 

Lisbon: rainfall in, 38; fortified by 
Rome, 116; Moslem conquest of, 
139; during Moslem times, 142; 
falls to crusaders, 174; Portuguese 
court at, 178; center of control in 
Portugal, 185; contribution to na- 
tional solidarity, 185; decline dur- 
ing Spanish Captivity, 186, 187; 
importance of harbor of, 214; men- 
tioned, 24, 151 

Littoral area: of the Algarve, 30 

Los Millares: Almeria culture excava- 
tions at, 86 

Lower Alentejo: great plain of, 29 

Lower Beira: landforms of, 23; men- 
tioned, 26 

Lower Paleolithic Period: 62 

Lucus Augusti. See Lugo 

Lugo: Moslem destruction of, 139; 
conquest of, 146 n. 10; mentioned, 
118, 139, 151, 170 

Lusitania: as Roman administrative 
division, 117, 118; mentioned, 75, 
113. See also Middle Portugal 

Lusitanians: of central Portugal, 111, 
112; resistance of, to Rome, 114, 
115; character of, 114-115; men- 
tioned, 168, 169 

Lutraria compresa: 63 n. 10 

Macas River: 19, 197 
Maderia: settlement of, 184 
Madrid: 208, 210 
Madrid Province: 61 
Magdalenian cave art: traces of, 61 
Magdalenian hunters: 63, 64 

Main River: 122 

Mainake: founding of, 97; destroyed 

by Carthaginians, 101 
Malach. See Malaga 
Malaga: site of, 89, 101; mentioned, 


Malaga Province: 61 
Mallorca: 95 

Manichaean heresy: in Iberia, 135 
Manzanas River. See Macas River 
Marao Mountains: 11, 14 
Marca: 197 
Marca. See Catalonia 
Marls: of the Algarve, 30 
Marseille. See Massalia 
Marvao: 175 

Massalia: La Tene culture in, 84 n. 62; 

founding of, 96; center of Greek 

trade, 101; alliance with Rome, 114; 

mentioned, 82 

Mastia ( Massia ) : Silver mines of 

102; mentioned, 129 
Materials, raw. See Resources, natural 
Medellin: as Moslem fort, 161 
Mediterranean Iberia : dommantly 
eastern Mediterranean in culture, 
208; mentioned, 9 
Mediterranean migrants: into Iberia, 


Mediterranean South of Portugal: cli- 
mate of, 36 
Megalitbic phenomena: area of, 80; 

mentioned, 66-67 
Meloussa. See Menorca 
Menorca: 95 

Mercenaries: drafted from Iberia by 
Hannibal, 103-106; effect of, on 
Iberia, 104 
Merida: settled, 116; Metropolitan of, 

131; decline of, 142 
Mertola: 202 n. 12 
Mesas: of Serra da Estrela, 23 
Meseta: uniqueness of, 8, 9; extension 
of, into Portugal, 14; extension of, 
into Upper Beira, 21; extension of, 
into Transmontane Beira, 22; cli- 
mate of, 34, 39, 40; rainfall on, 41; 
soil of, 46; vegetation of, 54; early 
culture of, 61, 62; Celts settle on, 
85; Visieoths, settle on, 129, 206; 
during Alfonso Ts desert zone, 149- 



150; resettlement of, 157-158; 
Moslem influence on, 157-158; 
economy of, 180-181; basis of poli- 
tical importance of, 206; sparse 
population of, 206-210; mentioned, 
11, 12, 32, 85, 38, 104, 127, 155, 
161, 162, 163, 170, 171, 197, 202, 
212, 213 

Mesozoic formations: of coastal fringe, 
26; of the Algarve, 29, 30; soils 
developed from, 46 

Mesta ( sheepowners' organization ) : 
power of, in Spain, 181; effect of, 
on population density, 197 n. 9 

Metal Age: comes to Iberia, 65 

Metals: of Portugal, 69; attract early 
settlers to Iberia, 89; Tartessian 
trade articles, 98. See also Metal- 
working; Minerals 

Metal- working: in the culture of Al- 
meria, 65; early Portuguese lag in, 
68-69; in Bronze culture, 70; with 
iron, by Celts, 71; for weapons of 
Celts, 79; of Tartessians, 92. See 
also Metal Age; Metals; Minerals 

Meteorologic action centers: of the 
Iberian Peninsula, 39-41 

Mica schists: in Tras-os-Montes, 49 

Middle Portugal: landforms of, 21- 
24; vegetation of, 56-57; climatic 
conditions of, 56-57; Germanic in- 
fluence in, 131, 133; Moslem period 
in, 141; as battleground, 141; Al- 
fonso II's advance into, 151; eastern 
border of, 197; transitional area, 
211. See also Lusitania 

Middle Tertiary formations: of Serra 
da Estrela, 23 

Migration: as related to culture, 4, 
4-5, 9-10, 127, 127-129, 140-143; 
and choice of location, 4, 4^-5, 9-10, 
204-206, 208-211; comparison of 
eastern Mediterranean and Central 
European movements in, 8789; 
opportunities in, for Moslems, 139; 
and amalgamation of cultures, 204- 
206. See also Immigrants to Iberia; 
Climate; Topography; Soils 

Miletus: 96 

Military establishments: castros as, 
79; dtdnias as, 79; Gadir as, 94 

Military orders: used in Portuguese 
independence movement, 172 

Minerals: in Iberia, 89; as factor in 
migration, 89 

Minho Province: physical character- 
istics of, 11-14; summer drought in, 
36; podsol soil of, 45; farming in, 
48-119; vegetation of, 59; stone- 
working in, 80 n. 53; Swabians' in- 
fluence in, 129, 136; during time of 
desert zone, 150; as germ of future 
Portugal, 152-153; barons of, revolt 
against Galicia, 155; resettlement 
of, 169; growth of nationalism in, 

Minho River: as boundary, 165, 172, 
192; area of lower, 192; mentioned, 
19, 111, 112, 116, 153. See also 
Mino River 

Mining and metal-trading: by Greeks, 

Mino River: basin of, 169 n. 24; men- 
tioned, 194: See also Minho River 

Minoa: possible early contact of, with 
Iberia, 86 

Miocene formations: of the Algarve, 

Miranda de Ebro: taken by Alfonso 
I, 149 

Monchique Mass: 29 

Monchique Mountains: in the Algarve, 
30; serras of, 172; mentioned, 29, 
41 n. 6 

Mondego River: as south border of 
Christendom, 160; mentioned, 21, 
26, 56, 57, 81, 91, 143, 153, 171 

Mondego River Valley: appeal of, to 
Arabs, 141-142; mentioned, 56 

Monforte: acquired by Portugal, 178 

Montemuro Mountains: 11, 22 

Montevideo: occupied by Brazil, 188 

Moslems: 137-143. See also Immi- 
grants to Iberia; Religion 

Mountains, the. See as Montanhas 

Moura: acquired by Portugal, 178; 
mentioned, 91 

Mourao: acquired by Portugal, 178 

Muca (Arab leader): 139, 148 n. 10 

Muge, early culture of: 62-63 

Munuca (Berber leader): opposition 
of, to Arabs, 147; mentioned, 146 



Mu Peak: 29 
Murcia: 106 

Napoleon: 188 

Nationality: related to topography, 3- 
10 passim 

Nationality of Portugal. See Portugal: 
nationality of 

Natufians: 62 

Navarra, province of: 72 , 157, 160 

Navas de Tolosa: defeat of Almohades 
at, 161 

Navia River: 113 

Navigation: of Minoans, 86; Greek, in 
Mediterranean, 95-97; impeded by 
rivers, 200; developments in, as 
factor in nationality of Portugal, 
214. See also Migration; Immi- 
grants to Iberia; Exploration 

Nazare: 24 

Neolithic Age: Portugal during, 215 

Neolithic culture: in Mediterranean 
Iberia, 64 

Neolithic men in Iberia. See Immi- 
grants to Iberia 

New Castile province: soil of, 50 

Normans: attacks by, in Northwest 
Iberia, 154 

North Africa: lack of tin in, 93 

North Atlantic cyclones: effect of, on 
Iberia, 39, 40 

Northeast Portugal: landforms of, 15- 

North Germany: soil of, 48 

North Iberia: landforms of, 11-31; 
cultural unity of, 108-113; three 
centers of power in, 162; acid humic 
soil of, 47; intensity of cultivation 
in, 48; agropedic soils of, 48; vege- 
tation in, 55, 56; architecture of, 
67 n. 26; tin of, 69; verracos in, 74; 
cultural attitudes of, 109; under 
Augustus, 116; Swabian contribu- 
tion to, 124, 129; repopulating of, 
151-154; advantage of location of, 
162; physical anthropology of, 168 

North Sea: 45 

Northwest Iberia: landforms of, 11- 
31; stone sculpture in, 80, 81; 
Norman attacks in, 154 

Northwest Portugal: landforms of, 

11-14; yearly precipitation in, 35; 
podsol soil in, 45; Celts in, 72 
Nubia: pilgrims from, 156 

Oak Region of Western Europe: 52 

Occupations: of Celtic man, 75; of 
Celtic women, 75; combination of, 
in northern mountains, 78; effect 
of plow on, 119. See also Agricul- 
ture; Commerce; Fighting; Fish- 
ing; Gathering; Herding; Hunting; 
Metal-working; Navigation; Pottery- 
making; Salt-making 

Oceanic Iberia: climate of, 35 

Oceans: effect of, on climate, 32-33, 
34-42 passim; effect of, on drought, 
34-35; effect of, on temperature, 
34-35; effect of, on vegetation, 35; 
effect of, on soils, 45-46; as source 
of food, 63; as entryway to Portugal, 
169. See also Atlantic Ocean 

Old Stone Age: in Iberia, 60 

Olivenca: accepted as Portuguese by 
Spain, 187; question of, 188-189; 
mentioned, 178 

Olive oil: Greek trade article, 98; 
export article of Portugal, 180 

Olives: cultivation of, in north Por- 
tugal, 54, 55; in Middle Portugal, 
57; in southern Portugal, 58, 117; 
introduced into Spain, 98 n. 42 

Ophioussa: 95 

Oppa (Archbishop): betrayal of 
Rodrigo, 138 

Opportunism: in extension of nuclear 
Portugal, 171. See also Political 

Ordono I: resettlement policy of, 151 

Ordono II: diploma of, 140 

Ordono III (Leonese king): 155 

O Rei Lavrador. See Diniz 

Orense: Moslem destruction of, 139; 
taken by Theresa, 167; pilgrimage 
road through, 194 

Oropedic soil: 49 n. 11 

Oviedo: soil of, 47 

Padrela Mountains: 14 

Padron. See Iria Flavia 

Palencia: site of, 77 

Paleolithic Period: hunters of, enter 



Iberia, 60-61. See also Epipaleo- 
lithic; Lower Paleolithic; Post- 
Paleolithic; Upper Paleolithic; Im- 
migrants to Iberia 
Palestine: Neolithic dolmens of, 66, 


Palmela: abandoned to crusaders, 174 
Paradela; as international point with 

Duero, 16; mentioned, 19, 200 
Passageways. See Immigrants to Ibe- 
ria: passageways used by 
Pedalfer soil: 47 n. 6 
Pedocal soil: area of, 48; mentioned, 

47 n. 6 

Pedro the Cruel of Spain: 184 
Pelayo: opposition to Moslems of, 


Penas de Europa: 145 
Peneda Mountains: 11, 12, 19. See 

also as Montanhas 
Peneplain: of Lower Alentejo, 29 
Penha de Pelayo: location of, 148 n. 

Peres, Fernando: union with Theresa, 

167; expelled from Portugal, 167 
Persians: threat to Phocaeans, 97 
Philip II: Portugal under, 186 
Philip III: Portugal under, 186 
Philip IV: Portugal under, 186 
Phocaea: capture of, 99; mentioned, 


Phocaean Greeks: close contact with 
Tartessos, 96; colonization by, 96; 
mentioned, 96-97 

Phoenicians. See Immigrants to Iberia 
Piracy: as related to trade and fishing, 


Pirates: at Gadir, 94 
Pityoussa. See Ibiza 
Pityusas. See Balearic Islands 
Pliocene clays: in the Algarve, SO 
Plow: brought into Iberia by Celts, 
76; effect of, on woman's work, 76 
77; exploitation of Iberia with, 77; 
effect of, on men in agriculture, 119; 
Central European quadrangular, in- 
troduced by Swabians, 123 
Podsol soil: location in Europe, 43, 
45, 46; description of, 43 n. 2; men- 
tioned, 46 
Political developments: resulting from 

topography, 3-10 passim, 49; in 
relation to rivers, 19; in relation to 
culture, 137, 157; affected by reli- 
gion, 145-153 passim, 157-163 pas- 
sim, 164, 165, 174; as factors in 
nationality of Portugal, 144-155, 
156-163, 164-170; affected by 
isolation of Portugal, 169, 178-179, 
215; importance of, in extension of 
Portugal, 171-173 

Polybius: quoted, 82, 103 

Pontevedra: rias of, 55 

Population; distribution of: as factor 
determining political boundaries of 
Iberia, 190-203; in Iberia, 191; as 
factor in isolation of Portugal, 190, 
203; in northwest and Mediterranean 
areas, 206; in areas of sparse settle- 
ment, 206-208; in present pattern 
of Iberia, 208 

Portalegre: 197 

Porto: rainfall in, 38; Moslem destruc- 
tion of, 139; taken by Alfonso, 148; 
re-established, 152; resettlement of 
Minho from, 169, 192; harbor of, 
214; mentioned, 153, 158, 173, 185 

Portucale. See Porto 

Portugal: name of, 153, 168-169; 
strategic position of, 183-185 pas- 
sim; international relations of, 183- 
189; peculiar values of, 216-217 

boundaries of: established, 174-178; 
in Olivenca dispute, 187, 188-189; 
affected by marriage portions, 189; 
geography of, 190-203; through 
areas of small attraction, 190-199; 
influenced by religion, 194; affected 
by lack of communication, 200; 
affected by lack of rivers, 200-202; 
in relation to economic usefulness 
of rivers, 202; influenced by cul- 
ture, 202. See also Communication; 
Culture, national or ethnic; Reli- 
gion; Rivers; Topography 

culture of. See Culture, national or 

economy of: 216-217; and internal 
development, 179-180; compared 
with that of Spain, 170-182; based 
on agriculture and stock-raising, 
216; mentioned, 162, 163, 183. See 



also Occupations; Resources, natural 

extension of. See Political develop- 
ments; Religion 

individuality of: theories concern- 
ing, 6-10; factors creating (see 
Climate; Colonization; Commerce; 
Communication; Exploration; Mi- 
gration; Navigation; Oceans; Poli- 
tical developments; Religion; Riv- 
ers; Soils; Topography; Vegetation) 

isolation of: 3-10, 4, 89, 106-107, 
143; topographical, 11-31 passim, 
162, 169-170; in climate, 32-42, 
162-163; in soils, 43-51 passim; in 
vegetation, 52-59 passim; for ex- 
ploration and settlement, 62, 65; 
from cultural movements, 67, 68, 
90, 111; in offside position, 68-69 
(see Portugal: offside position of); 
in northwest core, 140; new eco- 
nomic focus in, 152-154; related to 
special character of area of settle- 
ment, 152-154; political significance 
of, 162, 169, 178-179; improve- 
ments in agriculture resulting from, 
162-163; from Galicia, 169-170; 
influenced by distribution of popu- 
lation, 190, 203 

nationality of: political influences 
in, 144-155 passim, 156-163 pas- 
sim, 162-163, 166, 169-170, 212- 
213; significance of the resettlement 
for, 152, 152-154; religion as factor 
in, 155-156, 170; final steps toward, 
164-170; officially declared, 168; 
resulting from both geographic and 
political causes, 168-169; affected 
by Santiago de Compostela Pilgrim- 
age, 170; resulting from complex of 
causes, 170; completion of, 171- 
182; related to culture, 182, 212; 
affected by exploration, 184; con- 
solidated, 185; affected by Atlantic 
Ocean, 185, 213; development of 
strong national spirit in, 185; en- 
couraged by physical differences 
from the meseta, 212; geographical 
basis for, 212-216; factors contri- 
buting to, summarized, 212-217; 
affected by excellent ports, 214, 
215; affected by luck (oppor- 

tunism), 214; affected by associa- 
tion with England, 214; affected by 
developments in navigation, 214; 
and separation from Galicia, 214- 
215; in relation to offside position, 
215-217 ^ 

offside position of: 215-217; to pre- 
historic peoples, 62, 65, 68, 69, 215- 
to Greeks, 89, 90, 215; to Phoeni- 
cians, 89, 90, 215; to Carthaginians, 
89, 90, 104-106, 107, 214; to 
Romans, 114, 115, 215-216; to 
Swabians, 123-124, 216; to Visi- 
goths, 129, 216; to Moslems, 140- 
141, 143, 216; to Central Europeans, 
215; to Tartessians, 215; and ex- 
ceptions to assumption of Portugal's 
unimportance, 216; to Spain, 216. 
See also Portugal: isolation of, na- 
tionality of 

rivers of. See Rivers; Topography 

ties of, with Spain: 3-10 passim; 
topographically, 11-31 passim; in 
climate, 82-42 passim; in soils, 43- 
51 passim; in vegetation, 52-59 

topography of. See Topography; 

See abo Atlantic Ocean; Climate; 
Commerce; Culture; Humid Iberia; 
Immigrants to Iberia; Mediterranean 
Iberia; Middle Portugal; North 
Portugal; Northeast Portugal; North- 
west Portugal; Oceanic Iberia; 
Oceans; Political developments; 
Rivers; Soils; South Portugal; Tem- 
perature; Topography; Vegetation 

Portuguese: as distinct from Spaniards, 
4; sense of individuality among, 5; 
theories of origin of individuality 
of, 6-7. See also Portugal 

Portus Gale. See Porto 

Post-Paleolithic men in Iberia. See 
Immigrants to Iberia 

Post-Paleozoic sediments: 12 

Pottery-making: in Neolithic culture, 
64; of the pre-Celts, 80 

Pre-Cambrian rock formations: 16 

Precipitation: of the meseta, 34; as 
recorded at climatic stations, 37; 
and soils, 45-46. See also Rainfall 



Prehistoric men in Iberia. 60-69. See 
also Immigrants to Iberia 

Priscillian, death of: 135 

Priscillian heresy: 135 

Provincia Portucalense: 153 

Puebla de Senabria: 197 

Punic interest: in Portugal, 89, 97-99, 
215. See also Immigrants to Iberia: 

Punic settlements: in Portugal, 89. 
See also Immigrants to Iberia: Car- 

Pyrenees: herders of, 66; Celts enter 
through, 72; Germanic tribes enter 
across, 124; mentioned, 9, 45 

Quaternary deposits: of coastal fringe, 


Quijano, Gonzalez: map of, 34 
Quintas: of present northwest Por- 
tugal, 116 

Rainfall: of Mediterranean Portugal, 
36; as affected by meteorological 
action, 38-41; effect of, on soils, 
45-46, 48-49; in relation to vege- 
tation, 55. See also Climate; Pre- 

Raymond, Count of Galicia: death of, 
165; mentioned, 156, 164, 165 

Rechiarius (Swabian king): conver- 
sion of, to Christianity, 135 

Reconquest of Iberia, the: 144163 

Religion: under Roman rule, 133-136; 
as factor preventing conquest by 
Moslems, 140; as factor in continu- 
ity of a culture, 145-163 passim; 
as factor in nationality of Portugal, 
155-156, 170, 171-172; as factor 
in political developments, 157163 
passim, 164, 165, 174; as influence 
on Portuguese boundaries 

Remismund (Swabian king): 135 

Rendizinas: 77 

Resources, natural: 102-106; in Al- 
garve culture, 69; sources of, known 
by Tartessians, 92; in Galicia, listed, 
92; in Guadalquivir Valley, listed, 

Ria harbors: of Galicia, 214 

Rias: 55 

Ribatego, the: 26 

Rio de Onor: on boundary line, 195 
Rio Tinto: mines of, 199 n. 10 
Rivers: and granite massif, 12-14; of 
Minho, 1214; of Tras-os-Montes, 
15-16; effect of, on human affairs, 
16-20; as Portuguese boundaries, 
16, 19, 23; and culture, 16-20; 
political significance of, 19; related 
to agriculture, 19; valleys of, and 
climate, 22; of Beira, 21-23; of the 
Alentejo, 26-29; as bounds of vege- 
tation areas, 56; as boundaries of 
soil areas, 57; and navigation, 200; 
lack of, as cause of shifting bounda- 
ries, 200-202; and political bounda- 
ries, 200-203; economic uselessness 
of, in relation to boundaries, 202; 
as barriers, 202 n. 12 
Rock formations: of Minho Province, 
11-14; of Tras-os-Montes, 14-19; 
of Upper Beira, 21-22; of Estre- 
madura, 24; of Beira Littoral, 24, 
26; of the Alentejo, 29; of the 
Algarve, 30. See also Basalt; Crystal- 
lines; Granite; Jurassic; Marls; 
Mesozoic; Miocene; Mica schists; 
Pliocene; Pre-Cambrian; Sandstones; 
Syenite; Tertiary; Triassic sandstones 
Rodrigo (Visigoth king): 138, 144, 

Roman institutions: presistence of in 

Iberia, 135 

Roman judicial districts: 118 
Romans. See Immigrants to Iberia: 

Romyoussa. See Mallorca 

Sabor River: valley of, 22 

Sabugah acquired by Portugal, 178; 
mentioned, 189, 197 

Sado River: drainage of, 26, 29; men- 
tioned, 106 

Sado Valley: 143 

St. Fructuosus of Braga: 137 

Salacia. See Alcacer do Sal 

Salamanca ( weather station ) : precipi- 
tation at, 34 

Salamanca province: soil of, 50; ver- 
racos of, 74; taken by Alfonso I, 

Salor River: irrigable lands of, 216 



Salt-making; opportunity for, in 
Iberia, 89; at Gadir, 94; in southern 
Portugal, 106; in the Algarve, 173 

Samora province: verracos of, 74 

Samos: 96 

Sancho II: reign of, 175 

Sancho (son of Alfonso VI): death of 

Sandstones: of the Algarve, 30 

Santander province: Celts in, 72 

Santiago de Compostela: pilgrimage 
to, 155-156, 170, 215; sack by al- 
Mansur, 158; as factor in nationality 
of Portugal, 170; as religious and 
pilgrimage center, 194; as factor 
in determining Portuguese-Spanish 
border, 194 

Sao Mamede, Battle of: 167 

Saragossa: 159 

Sardinia: Punic interest in, 99; con- 
quered by Carthage, 103; men- 
tioned, 95 

Sardis: capture of, 99 

Schists: of southern Portugal, 29; of 
the Algarve, 30; of Serra do Cal- 
deirao, 199. See also Mica schists; 
Silurian schists 

Sefes tribe: 82, 83 

Segura: 189 

Serpa: acquired by Portugal, 177, 178 

Serra da Estrela: fault line along, 22; 
description of, 23-24; mentioned, 

Serra da Gata: 22 

Serra das Mesas: 22, 197 

Serra de Laboreiro: 192 

Serra de S. Mamede: 200 

Serra do Caldeirao: 199 

Sesnando, Count of Coimbra: 155 

Settlements. See Colonization; Migra- 
tion; Immigrants to Iberia 

Setubal: harbor of, 214 

Setubal Peninsula: 58 

Sever River: 200 

Seville: king of, 159, 160; raids south 
of, 160; Castilian-Leonese conquest 
of, 177; as Moslem center, 174; 
rebellion of, in 713, 139 

Sheep industry of Spain: development 
of, 181 

Shell mounds: of Muge, 62 

Sicily: 103 

Sidon: site of, 94; fishing center, 89 

Sierra Morena: 9, 48 

Siliceous soils: 56, 57 

Silingian Vandals: area of, in Iberia, 
125; move to Africa, 127 

Silurian schists: soils developed from 
46 ^ 

Silver: used in Argaric culture, 69; 
in trade article of Tartessians, 92; 
increased interest in, 102 

Sflves: built by Arabs, 141; falls to 
crusaders, 174; conquest of, by Por- 
tuguese, 177 

Simancas Province: taken by Alfonso 
I, 149 

Sintra: taken by crusaders, 174 

Sisbert (Visigoth leader): 138 

Soajo: area of, 194 

Soils: of Minho Province, 45; of the 
Meseta, 46; developed from gran- 
ites, 46; developed from Mesozoic 
materials, 46; calcareous, 46, 47; of 
Holland, 48; of Tras-os-Montes, 49. 
See also Acid-humic; Agropedic; 
Galega; Humid siallitic; Intermedi- 
ate siallitic; Oropedic; Pedalfer; 
Pedocal; Podsol; Siliceous; Terra 
rossa; Xero-siaUitic 

Soils: as related to culture, 3-10 pas- 
sim; of Europe, 43; differences in, 
between oceanic border and meseta, 
43-46; podsol, in Portugal, 43-46; 
of Western Europe, 44; effect of 
ocean on, 45-46; in relation to cli- 
mate, 45-46, 47, 47-48, 48-49, 49, 
50, 51; of the oceanic area, 47; of 
the interior, 47-48; fertilization of, 
48; affected by cultivation, 48; agro- 
pedic, 48-49; of Tras-os-M6ntes, 
49-50; terra rossa, 50; effect of, 
upon vegetation, 53-58 passim; ef- 
fect of, upon population, 199 
classifications of: by Del Villar, 46, 
47; by Stremme, 50; compared, 50- 
51 " 

Soult: 169 n. 24 

South Portugal: physical character- 
istics of, 29-30; vegetation of, 58; 
copper of, 69; poor in metals, 106 
Spain: international rivers of, 16, 19, 



23; boundaries of, 177-178; atti- 
tude of toward agriculture, 179, 
180, 181; sheep industry of, 180- 
181; economy of, 180-182, 216; 
and seizure of Portugal for the 
"Spanish Captivity/' 186; attitude 
of, to importance of Portugal, 216. 
See also Iberia 

Spanish Captivity: Portugal during, 

Sto. Domingos: mine at, 199 

Stone sculpture: in northwest Iberia, 
80, 81; Megalithic phenomena, 66, 
67. See also Dolmens; Verracos 

Stone-working: age of, 80 

Strabo: cited, 75, 78, 82, 91, 104, 108, 

Straits of Gibraltar: 87, 99, 101 

Stremme, H.: soil classification by, 51 

Sulphur: of Sto. Domingos, 199 

Summer weather conditions in Iberia: 

S. Vincente: soil of, 47 

Swabians. See Immigrants to Iberia: 
Germans; Swabians 

Switzerland: La Tene culture in, 84 n. 

Syenite formations: of South Portugal, 

Syrakoussai: 95 

Tacitus: cited, 123, 133 

Tagus River. See Tajo River; Tejo 

Tajo River: valley of, 214; irrigable 

lands of, 216; mentioned, 202 n. 12. 

See also Tejo River 
Talavera de la Reina: 116 
Tamega River: valley of, 169; upper 

valley of, 192-194; mentioned, 14, 


Tarasia. See Theresa 
Tareja. See Theresa 
Tank (Moslem leader): 138, 139 
Tarraconensis : Roman administrative 

division, 117, 118 
Tartessians: in Guadalquivir valley, 

91; economy of, 92, 93; contact of 

with Greeks, 92, 93; mentioned, 65, 

Tartessos: possible first Greek contact 

with, 96; close contact of with 
Phocaeans, 97; destroyed by Car- 
thage, 103; influence of, in the 
Algarve, 173; mentioned, 93, 101 

Tejo River: drainage of, 26, 29, 200; 
Celts living near, 82; as barrier to 
Lisbon, 143; Romans in area of 
lower, 216; mentioned, 23, 24, 45, 
56, 62, 111, 133, 141, 175, 177. 
See also Tajo River 

Tejo Valley: Arabs settle in, 142; 
mentioned, 56, 115 

Tell-el-Amarna: 87 

Temperature: of Iberia in January, 
33; of the meseta, 34; as recorded 
at climatic stations, 37; as affected 
by meteorological action, 38-41; 
seasonal, 41-42 

Terra quente (hot country): 22 

Terra rossa soil: areas of, 50 

Tertiary lands: of the coastal fringe, 
24; of the Alentejo, 29; in the 
Algarve, 30 

Tertiary rock formations: 12 

Theodoric (Visigoth king): 135 

Theresa: marriage to Henry, 164; as 
monarch of North Portugal, 166- 
167; union with Fernando Peres of 
Galicia, 167; expelled from Por- 
tugal, 167 

Tiberius (Emperor): 118 

Tin: of north Portugal, 69; as trade 
article of Tartessians, 92-93; source 
of, 92; lack of, in Caucasid, 93; as 
basis of prosperity in Galicia, 101; 
in relation to decline of Galicia, 
102; exhausted in Galicia, 102 

Toledo: politics of, 137; king of, 159; 
taken by Alfonso VI, 160; men- 
tioned, 129, 144 

Tomar: 24 

Tools and implements: of Epipaleo- 
lithic people, 63; of the Asturians, 
64; flints of prehistoric peoples as, 
64; of Neolithic people, 64; axes as, 
69; Celtic wagon, 73; plow, 76-77, 
119; hoe, 119 

Topography: as related to culture, 3- 
10 passim, 14, 141, 172-173; as 
related to nationality, 3-10 passim, 
11, 12, 31; diversity of, in Portugal, 



9-10, 31; of Minho, 11-14; as poli- 
tical influence, 12, 19, 49; granite 
massif, 12; of Tras-os-Montes, 14- 
16; and economics, 19; of Beira, 
21-24; of Estremadura, 24-26; of 
the Alentejo, 26-30; of the Algarve, 
3031; as influence on colonization, 
140-143 passim; effect of, upon 
military operations, 141, 147-148; 
effect of, upon settlement, 143; as 
related to isolation of Portugal, 
162-163, 169-170; differences of 
southern provinces from nuclear 
Portugal in, 171; along Portuguese 
boundaries, 190-203 

Torto River: as boundary, 200 

Touroes River: as boundary, 200 

Trade. See Commerce 

Transmontane Beira: physical char- 
acteristics of, 22; plain of, 24 

Tras-os-Montes Province: physical 
characteristics of, 14-19, 195-197; 
influence of rivers on, 19; frontier 
of, 21; meseta-type climate, 36; soil 
of, 49; collective systems of, 78 
n. 42; eastern boundary of, 175; 
growth of nationalism in, 185; 
boundaries of, 195-196; climate of, 
196, 197 

Triassic formations: in the Algarve, 30 

Triassic sandstones: of the coastal 
fringe, 24; of Estremadura, 24 

Truck gardens: of Vila Real de Santo 
Antonio, 199 

Trujillo: as Moslem fort, 161 

Turditanian people: location in Iberia, 

Tuscany: mines of, 93 

Tuy: Moslem destruction of, 139; 
bishop of, 140; re-established, 151; 
destroyed by Normans, 154; taken 
by Theresa, 167 

Tyre: site of, 94; decline of, 96, 97 

Tyrrhenian Sea: 99 

Upper Alentejo: 26 

Upper Beira province: landforms of, 


Upper Paleolithic Period: 60-61, 62 
Urnfields people: in Iberia, 70, 71 
Urraca: marriage to Raymond, 164; 

marriage to Alfonso of Aragon, 165; 
at war with Alfonso of Aragon, 167 

Vacceos: collectivist society of, 77; 
economy of, 77 

Valencia: controlled by Alfonso VI, 

Valladolid: precipitation at ? 34, 35; 
summer rainfall of, 36; site of, 77 

Valleys. See Rivers 

Vandals: as East Germans, 122; entry 
into Iberia, 124-125. See aha 
Asdingian; Silingian 

Vegetation: affected by ocean, 35; 
contrasts of, between humid Iberia 
and the meseta, 53-54; in relation 
to soils, 53-58 passim; in subdi- 
visions of humid Iberia, 54-56; sub- 
divisions in, in Portugal, 5658; of 
southern Portugal, 58; affected by 
environmental conditions, 59; effect 
of man upon, 59; in relation to 
settlement, 123; in relation to cli- 
mate, 32, 35, 36, 52, 53-54, 54-58 

regions of: in Western Europe, 52- 
53; Oak, 52; Holly, 52-53; Beech, 
52-53; in northern and western 
Iberia, 53-59 

Verin: 19, 169, 194 

Vermcos: in northwest Iberia, 74 

Viana do Castelo (weather station): 

Vigo: rias of, 55; mentioned, 158 

Vila Real: 12 

Vila Real de Santo Antonio: vegetable 
production of, 199 

Vilarica River: 22 

Vila Vigosa: Portuguese victory at, 

Villas: established in Iberia by 
Romans, 116 

Vinhais: lands of, 197 

Viriathus: opposition of to Romans, 

Viseu: fortified by Rome, 116; diocese 
of, 131; conquest of, 146 n. 10; 
taken by Alfonso I, 148; mentioned, 

Visigoths. See Immigrants to Iberia: 



Vitiza (Visigoth King); succeeds Egi- 

ga, 144; mentioned, 138 
Vizcaya province: 72 
Vouga River: 24 

Wagon, Central European: introduced 

by Celts to Iberia, 73 
Weapons: used in Almeria, 65; made 

of iron, 79 
Wheat: cultivated by Celts, 75; grown 

by Vacceos, 77, 117 
Wine: Greek trade article, 98; intro- 

duced to Iberia, 98 n. 42; export 
article of Portugal, 180 
Winter weather conditions in Iberia: 
39, 40 

Xero-siallitic soil: area of, 47; in Tras- 
os-Montes: 49 

Zalaca: Moslem victory at, 160 
Zamora: soil of, 48; site of, 77; taken 

by Alfonso I, 148; pilgrimage road 

from, 194; mentioned, 16 

Continued from front flap ) 

opportunity to trade with England, and navi- 
gational experience. 

( 4 ) Rapid improvement in navigation tech- 
niques at a time when Portugal was in posi- 
tion to take advantage of them. 

(5) The advent of the Age of Discoveries, 
which developed among Portuguese an intense 
patriotism and a pride in national achieve- 

(6) The peculiar "offside" position of Portu- 
gal in reference to the interests of Spain. 

Photographs, made by the author, reveal 
the natural beauty of the Portuguese land- 
scape and the activities of the people. 

Dr. Stanislawski, Professor of Geography 
at the University of Texas, has traveled widely 
in both hemispheres. He has done field work in 
Latin America and in Mediterranean countries, 
gathering background material and firsthand 
information on individual culture regions. 

Several years of work on Latin American cul- 
tures led him to Iberia for a deeper under- 
standing of Latin America. From Spain and 
Portugal he went to Italy, completing more 
than a year of study in each country. 


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